This is the question at the heart of our Open Philanthropy programme at NPC.
It may appear paradoxical to suggest that philanthropy can ever be open and inclusive. After all, philanthropy involves harnessing private wealth for societal benefit. But many funders are now wrestling with how to be part of the solution rather than the problem and tackle deep seated power imbalances.
What could that look like? We are delivering a grant cycle to address financial hardship, drawing on emerging practice, to see what we can learn. We are involving experts by experience, professionals, funders, researchers and policy makers. This group will design the fund, consider a range of evidence, develop a strategy and set the criteria. They will also decide who receives a grant, working in the open and publishing the results.
As we head into another tough winter, now feels like the right time to build on what we’ve learnt so far, and explore how being more open can make giving more effective. If we design in inclusivity from the start, will we make a bigger strategic impact as a result?
We aim to find out.