8th Oct 2019

Rob Williamson, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation discusses the importance of #PoweredByPhilanthropy 2019

Philanthropy is often seen as something done mainly by white, wealthy straight men. But that’s not a true picture. Generosity is part of every community in society. Less well-off people give proportionately more of their income that richer people. Women play a critical role as donors and in family philanthropy. And there are powerful traditions of giving in, for example, Muslim communities.

The Community Foundation’s #PoweredByPhilanthropy events this November are about widening the lens of who gets to be in the philanthropy picture. For us, that’s really important because we want to be a place where donors from all walks of life can find effective ways to help their communities.

But it’s also about how well philanthropy is serving diverse communities. It’s uncomfortable to say, but some charitable causes are more popular than others. And prejudice and discrimination is as alive in the world of giving as in any other sphere. Meanwhile, people of colour, women, disabled people, LGBT communities and others are worse affected by things like poverty, poor health and crime. We as a funding organisation have a responsibility to do something about all that, and to work with others so the North East can be a more equitable society. 

So, #PoweredByPhilanthropy is also about us listening and learning more about diversity and inclusion. Some events celebrate diversity and shine a light on the work of those who help communities with lived experience of racism, homophobia and other types of discrimination. Others focus on giving done in diverse communities, and in campaigns for equality and inclusion. But throughout, there is space to challenge, debate and really listen to the voices of those who are less well served by philanthropy.

At the Community Foundation, we don’t have all the answers on diversity and inclusion. But we hope we are starting to ask the right questions of ourselves and others. So, please join us in this important and continuing conversation.

Find out more

Blog by Rob Williamson, Chief Executive, Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland

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