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(Un)precedented: Philanthropy Takes Action in the First Year of a New Political Reality

Publication Date: 
March, 2018
Source(s): 
TCC Group

This report from the TCC Group finds that the flexibility, nimbleness, and willingness to collaborate demonstrated by the philanthropic sector over the past year in response to a rapidly changing policy environment could serve as a model for the sector going forward.

Based on interviews with nearly thirty leaders of philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs), this report found that in the first year of the Trump administration, PSOs and funder collaboratives were called on to keep funders well informed of policy changes. To that end, PSOs have played a critical role in enabling funder learning, dialogue, and action, and have helped accelerate important funder conversations in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion; the need to think beyond issue silos; and the foundational benefits of creating space for dialogue across political and ideological divides through nonpartisan civic engagement.

The report also notes that while some funders have remained cautious, taking a "wait and see" approach to how national political changes might affect their grantmaking priorities, a greater number have been moved by rapidly changing policies to consider aligning their "institutional voice" with other grantmakers to maximize their impact.

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