• Description

This is a collection of 11 stories describing a philanthropic intervention against some form of injustice (socioeconomic and/or political) at a local, national or global scale. These stories are told through the lens of a grantmaker illuminating the sorts of considerations, dilemmas and uncertainties a grantmaker might wrestle with when making a grant to effect positive social change. They delve deep into the analysis of the problem, the solution, the strategy and tactics used to address it, the risks and challenges involved, and the impact of the philanthropic support. The purpose in telling these stories is to broaden the circle of philanthropy practitioners whose aim is to help produce lasting change in the lives of people and communities, by showing how such grantmaking is done and giving evidence of its impact. The stories broadly fall into three categories: Supporting marginalized groups and communities to achieve change in their own lives

  • Naseej Foundation supports the mobilization of collective effort for community projects in Palestine, including extending a local school.
  • Fikra, a fund established by four European foundations in response to the Arab Spring, supports the ideas and aspirations of local communities in Tunisia.
  • The Webb Memorial Trust supported efforts to give children a voice on poverty in the UK.
Fighting for justice and opportunity
  • Indonesia for Humanity is supporting a community's struggle to overcome the legacy of authoritarianism.
  • Brazil Human Rights Fund supported Mothers of May in their fight for justice for victims of structural violence in Brazil.
  • The Ford Foundation supported 27 local education reform programmes throughout the Philippines and the subsequent establishment of Synergeia, in an effort to improve the country's failing education system.
  • The efforts of businessman and philanthropist Patrick Taylor led to the passing of a law in 1989 in the US state of Louisiana that every child who achieves certain standards should be allowed to go to college regardless of their parents' ability to pay.
Challenging accepted attitudes and ways of thinking
  • Community Foundation for Northern Ireland's support to the Rainbow Project helped spark a change in public perceptions of LGBT people in Northern Ireland.
  • Bernard van Leer Foundation's programme to reduce violence in young children's lives involved shifting social norms to make violence less acceptable and promoting evidence-based policies to prevent violence.
  • The Ford Foundation's International Economic Policy portfolio fostered networks of analysts and activists to develop an alternative economic narrative to challenge the prevailing globalization agenda.
  • Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust's early support for the Carbon Tracker Initiative helped to bring the term 'stranded assets' into the mainstream of global economic thinking in just five years.