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Sharing philanthropic power

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By Todd Cohen

A pioneering effort to realign philanthropic power is unfolding in North Carolina.

Fueled by NCGives, a $6 million donor-advised fund at the North Carolina Community Foundation, the effort focuses on givers outside mainstream philanthropy.

Linking those givers, including people of color, women and young people, is the desire to invest time, know-how and money in social change.

Mainstream philanthropy, blinded by the power its wealth gives it over nonprofits desperate for funds, has failed to share with diverse donors the risk and investment that social change requires.

America faces urgent needs far exceeding the resources of big foundations and wealthy donors.

NCGives aims to celebrate, connect, inspire and strengthen donors outside the philanthropic-industrial complex, and bridge the divide between those donors and organized philanthropy.

It plans to do so by investing in training, workshops, communications and matching funds to help more modest donors equip themselves to expand their giving and work with one another and with organized philanthropy.

Giving gives the power to make change to those who give.

By investing in those who care about change, and helping them grow in their giving and share with organized philanthropy the leadership needed for change, NCGives promises to give change a fighting chance.


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

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