Hi everyone. This blog post may be a little wonky, but it is important, so thank you for reading it all the way through. Last week, a bunch of us had a Party to Enhance Equity in Philanthropy (PEEP) event, a time for funders and nonprofit folks to get together and just hang out without an agenda. In Seattle, we met for a picnic. This was the first time in over a year that many of us were in the same physical space, and it was wonderful. (And slightly awkward; someone offered me their hand to shake, and I nearly dropped my hibiscus-flavored sparkling water and ran screaming down the park).
While it was nice to see one another, and we should continue this tradition, having a fun event is not sufficient to solve many of the crappy, archaic, frustrating, inequitable practices in philanthropy. For that, we need legislation. Which is why I am happy to see that the Accelerate Charitable Efforts (ACE) act is moving forward. Here is an article on this bipartisan effort. The bill will do a few things, including:
Hi everyone. I hope you are doing OK amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s scary. Take care of yourself while socially distancing. Most of us have never faced anything like this before, and we cannot take any chances. Cancel everything and stay home. I am in Seattle. My kids’ schools are closed for the next six weeks, possibly longer. It is going to be rough, but we are far luckier than most, as my partner and I both have flexible schedules.
A lot of folks are hurting right now. Small business
owners, people without sick leave, gig workers, folks without childcare, those
who have no emergency savings, incarcerated people, people experiencing
homelessness, disabled folks, kids who rely on school for food, those who are
undocumented—all face daunting challenges with no foreseeable end date. Meanwhile,
nonprofits face drastic reductions in revenues because of canceled events and
other factors, which means we are less able to help during a time when we are
Amidst all this, I got a message from a colleague saying
that a foundation just informed its grantees that due to its corpus being affected by the stock market, in part because
of the Coronavirus, it may cut down on funding, possibly not even be able to
disburse committed funds.
I know many of you are reeling from the domestic terrorism that happened over the weekend, committed by white supremacists, spurred on by the racist president of the United States, aided by coward Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who stopped two gun control bills passed by the House this year (HR 8 ad HR 112) from even being voted on in the Senate.
I wish I had words of comfort, maybe some inspirational quote by MLK Jr. or Gandhi about how Good Always Wins in the End, or something, but I don’t. I am just as sad and angry and heartbroken for all those lives lost as you are. My oldest child is about the same age now as the kids who were killed at Sandy Hook, and all I can do is send him off to his school each day hoping that some white supremacist won’t gun his class down. Same with the preschooler. I start having ridiculous thoughts about buying bulletproof backpacks for them, as if that would actually protect them.
This is where we are as a nation. The last few years have been hellish on all fronts, and things do not seem to be getting better, despite my best attempts at optimism. We nonprofits have been dealing with the increased challenges our communities, especially marginalized communities, have been facing.