At its root, philanthropy is an act of love. As the philanthropic sector evolves, there is a growing focus on how to fuel that loving act by balancing measurable impact with equity and systems change. This includes radically changing the practice of philanthropy. As we enter Maverick Collective’s 10th year of working with a community of women philanthropists through an experiential model that blends real-dollar grantmaking with hands-on learning, we believe we’ve achieved this balance.
We synthesized our decade of experience and learning from working closely with more than 40 Maverick members and dozens of incredible partners and philanthropy thought-leaders, and created an easy to understand, high-level approach that leads to more impactful and equitable philanthropists—our new 3-A Framework. Through this approach – which supports donors to become more authentic, accountable, and activated agents of social change – we’ve witnessed how this kind of personal transformation leads to transformation of the philanthropy sector through greater trust and centering proximate leaders. That transformation is critical to achieve a more equitable and just world.
Rather than focus on where to prioritize giving, or whom to give to, our 3-A Framework can be used by anyone interested in making philanthropy more impactful and equitable through sharing power, collective action, and bold giving.
A is for…..
Authentic. Aim to learn, rather than dictate; build partnerships based on mutual respect and gratitude; and cultivate an environment of shared power, trust, and active listening. This means being aware of the power dynamics that exist between you as a donor and the organizations you support and showing up ready to engage and to learn.
Accountable. Commit to moving more money toward dismantling systemic barriers and solving for root causes, rather than looking for quick wins. Champion accountability first to impacted communities and work in solidarity through trust and shifting power to those who are leading the work, day in and out. Be accountable to the organizations you support, just as they are accountable to you.
Activated. Take more risks by funding unproven and potentially game-changing ideas. Be active in the movements that you are supporting, using your full range of capital (intellectual, social, political, and financial) to reimagine more equitable systems. And commit for the long-term to the issues and organizations you care about.
When applied together, each component of the 3-A Framework provides philanthropists with the tools to become more informed and effective donors. However, to create a seismic shift in the philanthropic sector we need to utilize collective action through community — an element that is often overlooked. Rather than working alone, imagine a collective of women philanthropists giving with these values and amplifying their investments through the power of community — this is Maverick Collective. When our members embrace their accountability; align with their authenticity; and move into action, alongside their community, we see more social impact for women and girls everywhere.