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Giving is part of leading

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By Todd Cohen

Philanthropy in North Carolina has a rare chance to transform itself.

Looking beyond mainstream donors, a new $6 million donor-advised fund at the North Carolina Community Foundation will invest in boosting giving by people of color, women and young people.

The goal of the new NCGives fund is to cultivate diverse giving, and expand philanthropy and the way North Carolinians think about and practice it.

Through investments to strengthen giving by women, young people, African Americans, Native Americans and the state’s growing Latino population, NCGives hopes to help donors outside the mainstream talk to and learn from one another.

It also aims to help diverse donors connect and work with mainstream donors.

Wealthy foundations and donors exercise near-monopoly control over nonprofits hooked on their support.

NCGives can help deepen and expand the philanthropic pool to include donors, rooted in communities, who understand their problems and can give time, know-how and dollars to address them.

Fulfilling that promise will require changing the perception, processes and focus of philanthropy, and tracking the impact of that change.

Giving, a form of leadership, takes many forms.

By helping to unleash and build diverse forms of giving, NCGives can spur new leadership in our communities.


Todd Cohen is the Editor and Publisher of the Philanthropy Journal.

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