During his first decade at The California Endowment, Dr. Robert Ross says he worked hard to “alleviate misery with charity” in Los Angeles where the philanthropic ecosystem was dominated by campaigns funding brick-and-mortar civic institutions. When he shifted the Endowment’s efforts towards funding advocacy work 10 years later, the foundation contributed to meaningful systemic change, including supporting advocacy groups who permanently expanded medicare eligibility in 2021.
A new article in the Los Angeles Times tells the story of an evolving philanthropy landscape in Los Angeles that has shifted from building museums showcasing their donors’ art collections to making systemic investments in the racial justice movement. The California Black Freedom Fund, which recently expanded its goal and is pushing the state to match their $100M commitment and turn the fund into an endowed foundation, is an essential supporter of the racial justice movement in Los Angeles, supporting such groups as the Youth Justice Coalition, Afrikan Black Coalition, the Los Angeles Black Worker Center and the Los Angeles Community Action Network. Read the whole article — which features many more Change Consulting partners and friends — at the Los Angeles Times.
PIVOT, a collaborative fund of 14 organizers and funders that aims to expand democracy and build lasting power for communities of color in California, announced their first round of grantmaking, awarding more than $7 million from the Power Building Pooled Fund in multi-year grants to 14 organizations, coalitions, and networks reaching more than 70 organizations around the state. To learn more about the inaugural round of grantmaking, the organizations that are leading breakthrough strategies to empower communities that have long been denied a voice in elections and government, and PIVOT overall, check out this article in Philanthropy News Digest, this piece in Nonprofit Quarterly, or visit the PIVOT website at pivotcalifornia.org.
SAVE THE DATE: The 4th Annual Black Girl Freedom Week is back! The weeklong, virtual celebration of the joy, power, leadership, and brilliance of Black girls and gender-expansive youth will take place February 12 – 18, 2024. This year’s theme is “A Future of Justice and Democracy.” Guests and speakers will explore and discuss Black liberation, reproductive justice, affirmative action, Title IX, civic engagement beyond voting, and what it takes to create just and liberated futures. Register to secure your spot and get the latest updates from host Black Girl Freed Fund HERE.
PowerSwitch Action seeks to shift power from corporations to communities in California. To put that long-term agenda into practice and identify approaches that would be useful beyond the Golden State, PowerSwitch Action’s California program invited two outside evaluators to embed with them for the early years of their work. Last month, Nonprofit Quarterly summarized findings from the resulting report and key lessons that PowerSwitch Action identified through this evaluation process. Read the Nonprofit Quarterly article and the report to learn more about how PowerSwitch Action works to ensure their work today is setting up our communities for bigger and bolder wins tomorrow.