Twitter Chat Recap: Wealth, Equity and Nonprofits

On Monday December 7, Apra members joined Preeti Gill (Sole Searcher Strategies), Joe Gonzales (University of St. Thomas), Misa Lobato (Rhode Island School of Design) and Liz Rejman (Pathways to Education Canada) to talk about the complicated relationship with wealth and equity at nonprofits. Monday’s #ApraChat created 1,888 impressions over 150 tweets. Highlights include:

Differences between Wealth and Equity:

  • Access: who has access, and who needs to fight for it?
  • Setting ground rules to promote equity in the organization
  • Equity vs. Equality – they’re not the same, and one solution doesn’t work for all
  • Involving those who are served by philanthropy in decision-making process
  • Exploring where power intersects with solutions, and who is at the “solutions” table
  • How financial inequality will impact future philanthropy

Addressing the ways donors interact with nonprofits:

  • Moving away from established ideas and approaches of philanthropy
  • Expanding the definition of philanthropy
  • Including diverse lived experiences at the donor and staff level
  • How donors can drive gift conversations and in turn, the direction an organization takes
  • What should be at the center of the conversation: the donor, the mission, or the community?
  • How donor-centrism can help or hurt organizations

Bias in Prospect Development:

  • Perpetuating bias by viewing wealth as the most important factor when determining where to focus time and effort
  • Focusing on donor areas where there is little to no diversity
  • A need to question bias in an organization’s method and/or approaches are embedded in historical inequality
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