Foundations want you to know they make a difference—not just write checks

Co.exist takes a look at #ReasonsForHope, a campaign led by 39 philanthropies that encourages Americans to fight despair and work together to create more dignity, justice, and equality.

Published in Co.Exist | August 9, 2016
Foundations Want You To Know They Make A Difference—Not Just Write Checks
By Ben Paynter

“HOPE." That’s the one-word message at the center of a new awareness campaign backed by 39 charitable groups in response to recent shooting deaths in places like Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and Dallas.

It all started with Ford Foundation CEO Darren Walker, who was attending the international AIDS conference in South Africa in late July as news broke about police officers being shot in Baton Rouge. While he was already in meetings with some of the world’s top philanthropists many expressed feelings of grief and helplessness. "One of the questions I was asked was ‘What can philanthropy do about this?’" he says.

The answer is that many foundations are already doing quite a bit; they’re just really bad about sharing it.

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The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 80 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.