Awhile back I wrote about the billionaire pledge. That’s the effort to get billionaires to pledge to give away huge percentages of their wealth. It’s certainly a noble gesture, but as I noted before, so much of this money will not go to address the underlying causes of the problems we are facing today. Can this money reduce poverty, racism, environmental destruction? Not without a specific strategy for what the money gets spent on.
That’s why I’m excited that MRG Foundation signed on to a complement to the billionaire pledge. The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy has secured the commitment from more than 60 foundations from around the country to commit to funding work that shifts power to marginalized communities.
The pledge, called Philanthropy’s Promise, calls on foundations to give at least 50% to serve poor communities. Of that funding, 25% will go specifically to support advocacy to make the changes that are needed in society.
The commitment of the originating funders who have signed the pledge will result in $2.8 billion going to marginalized communities. That's just a start. We need more foundations that are committed to getting at the root causes of injustice and problems. Otherwise, as so many of us know, we will continue to put band aids on problems that could actually be solved.