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October Must-Reads 2019

Our favorite reads of the month on partnering with communities, equitable capacity building, our new strategy newsletter, and more.

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This month, we read insights on how we can be better partners with community members. We read a reflection on the importance of processing individual trauma to advance social justice work, and another on how philanthropy can be antiracist. We explored how capacity building can be done in ways that harm Native communities. And we published our first strategy newsletter on how to make network-based strategy work.

What would you add to this list? Tweet us your recommendations @WeDreamForward.

1. Who We Stand With and How We Show Up

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT | Colorado Health Foundation | 6-minute read

“What if we pretend the community members we speak to are our cousins that have been wronged before?” This quote from Carly Hare sets the stage for this blog post about developing a collective sense of belonging and empathy between foundations and communities. Jehan Benton-Clark of the Colorado Health Foundation writes about how she and her team members strive to recognize and honor the distinct elements of each community member’s identity, how the foundation defines community, and the foundation’s cornerstones of who and what they stand for.

See Jehan speak at our Upswell session, “Learning to Let Your Community Lead.” 


2. Unpacking Capacity Building

CAPACITY BUILDING | Nonprofit Quarterly | 7-minute read

Historically, Native people have been stripped of assets and decision-making power. So today, when a foundation requires Native nonprofits to meet the foundation’s definition of success and follow their preferred approaches to service delivery, they are practicing what Sarah EchoHawk of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society calls “colonialism in philanthropic clothes.” EchoHawk shares tips for how grantmakers can be better partners to Native nonprofits.


Northwest Area Foundation DEI Manager Margie Jo Eun Joo Andreason; Photo by Nawang B.

3. Insights on Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Journey 5: How Self-Healing Can Be a Powerful First Step

EQUITY | Northwest Area Foundation | 7-minute read

Without thorough self-reflection and facing our own individual trauma, we can’t be the kind of partners we want to be to communities and nonprofits, writes Margie Jo Eun Joo Andreason, the Northwest Area Foundation’s diversity, equity, and inclusion manager. In this blog post, she shares about her personal journey and how it has influenced who she is and how she shows up in her work today.

4. How to be an Antiracist: Reflections for Philanthropy

EQUITY | Borealis Philanthropy | 9-minute read

What would it look like for philanthropy to be antiracist? Alice Y. Hom of Northern California Grantmakers and Maya Thornell-Sandifor of Borealis Philanthropy reflect on a conversation with Ibram X. Kendi and discuss how it’s influencing their work in philanthropy.

5. Making Network-Based Strategy Work

STRATEGY | Community Wealth Partners newsletter | 5-minute read

It’s hard to create strong nonprofit strategies in constantly changing environments. This week, we launched a newsletter to help you navigate the complexity, learn from our team, and hear what peers are doing. In each issue, we’ll respond to one of your strategy questions and share relevant resources and events. This quarter, our CEO Amy Celep responds to a question we often hear about how network coordinators can equip network members to learn from each other. Take a look and subscribe here.

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