Funding racial justice and social change with Derek Bardowell
THE CHARITY IMPACT PODCAST EPISODE 12: Funding racial justice and social change with Derek Bardowell.
Funding racial justice and social change: Derek Bardowell and Alex Blake discuss new approaches to funding racial justice and social change, highlighting initiatives that are setting an example of what a fairer society could look like.
In this episode of the Charity Impact podcast, I talk to Derek Bardowell, author of Giving Back and CEO of Ten Years’ Time about funding racial justice and social change.
We discuss the problem with the traditional notion of philanthropy, charity and the systems in wider society; and go back to the original meaning of philanthropy – love of humanity, not the notion of wealthy people giving to the poor.
Derek explains that the current model of philanthropy is based on preservation of the status quo. It’s a cycle that preserves power for philanthropists and for very large charities/institutions. It’s not addressing the root causes of issues, it’s not funding systems change. When so much of our financial system is built on exploitation, we need to create a new way that is regenerative and fair for all.
There are different ways of doing things and Derek highlights multiple positive examples of both funders and organisations/initiatives that are creating social change. If people don’t know where to start, there are now organisations with the specialist knowledge to distribute funds equitably and to support black and minoritized communities.
These new funders and changemakers are showing us how things can be done differently and what a different society could look like. They need to be given the space and resource to scale, in the way the likes of Carnegie and Rockefeller did in their time. They need the space, time and resources to take their ideas for conception to being mainstreamed or creating change in the system.
What would it look like if we gave the philanthropic money available to organisations that are creating change that is regenerative and reflective of their communities – then we would start to see a shift in the systems that need to change.
This needs funding at scale for long periods, without restriction. Change doesn’t happen in 3 to 5 year funding cycles. Philanthropists need to make big long-term bets and take risks to support social change
We also discuss Derek’s popular book, Giving Back, which critiques philanthropy and offers solutions; as well as lots of other books, organisations and movements to read, learn about and support.
Scroll down for episode notes with links to resources.
Derek Bardowell, author, coach and CEO
Derek is a writer, executive coach and CEO of Ten Years’ Time. He is the author of No Win Race, which explores race and racism in modern Britain through the prism of sport; and his new book Giving Back, which reimagines philanthropy through a reparative lens.
Derek started his career in journalism before moving into the social sector, directing award winning programmes for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. From 2009 to 2019, Derek directed portfolios for a number of major funders, where he was responsible for the distribution of over £150 million to good causes in 34 countries.
or if you’d prefer to share constructive feedback by e-mail, please do.
I really appreciate any feedback so I can get a sense of what you enjoy about the podcast, how it helps you in your work for social change and/or what I could do to improve it.
NOTES AND LINKS FOR EPISODE 12
EPISODE 12: Funding racial justice and social change with Derek Bardowell
The problem with the traditional notion of philanthropy, charity and the systems in wider society
Philanthropy has a façade of doing good. Go back to its original meaning – love of humanity, not the notion of wealthy people giving to the poor.
So much of our financial system is built on exploitation.
Need to create a new way that is regenerative and fair for all. We are all interdependent.
Current model of philanthropy is based on preservation of the status quo – its not addressing the root causes of issues, its not funding systems change
It’s a cycle that preserves power for philanthropists and for very large charities/institutions
Offsetting extractive business and investment behaviours
There are different ways of doing things – love of human kind, taking more of a cultural approach than institutional, sharing risk and reward, not having the levels of hierarchy, with decisions by those who are affected
Positive examples – if people don’t know where to start, there are now organisations with the specialist knowledge to distribute funds equitably and to support black and minoritized communities:
Black Feminist Fund – One of a kind funding focused explicitly on supporting Black feminist movements (global).
Project Tallawah – an emerging Black Feminist resourcing and community initiative based in the UK.
Dream Fund by Civic Square in Birmingham a couple of years ago
Resourcing Racial Justice – a coalition of people of colour (POC) innovators, change makers, activists, artists and social leaders dedicated to social change, who established a new UK wide-funding pool to support individuals and communities working towards racial justice.
Baobab Foundation – A new pro-Black foundation, resourcing racial justice through Black & Global Majority communities.
Pathways Fund – a new initiative founded in 2022, aiming to catalyse opportunities for Black and Minoritised communities across England through social investment. Managed by Voice for Change. Donate.
The identity crisis of philanthropy
These new funders need to be given the space and resource to do things that the likes of Carnegie and Rockefeller had in their time
Highlighting examples of organisations, movements, people who are creating social change and showing us how things can be done differently:
Yard – an arthouse in Ladywood, Birmingham, set up by MAIA to care for and resource the imaginations of local people and artists.
Healing Justice London – building towards a complete reimagining of our health systems — to emerge from a period of discovery, imagination, and collective growth together with ideas for a just and equitable system of community-centred health. Donate.
Project 507 – the transformation of systems that generate violence and perpetuate cycles of trauma, so that fewer people are harmed. Donate.
Free Black University – to support people in going beyond the known and ‘possible’ to activate the world changers and shapers of the future. Donate.
Liberatory visions – These organisations are setting an example of what a different society could look like
What would it look like if we gave the philanthropic money available to organisations that are creating change that is regenerative and reflective of their communities – then we would start to see a shift in the systems that need to change
Need to fund at scale for long periods, without restriction. Change doesn’t happen in 3 to 5 year funding cycles
Need philanthropists to make big long-term bets and take risks to support social change
What would Derek’s approach be to giving as a philanthropist? Give it to these people and organisations over as long a period as possible, without restriction, and let them work it out. They need the space, time and resources to take their ideas for conception to being mainstreamed or creating change in the system.
Ten Years’ Time – philanthropy advice and education company, which helps ambitious donors and foundations to repair harm and rebalance power by resourcing racial and economic justice with care and confidence.
Giving Back – critiquing philanthropy and offering solutions
There are more organisations holding funders to account, for example:
Do you wish you could do more to change the world but don’t know how? Do you ever look around at the many charities asking for donations and feel overwhelmed? This inspiring and uplifting book explores the effectiveness of charity and calls for more radical giving if we want to contribute to a better world.
During a period when British society seems more divided than ever, and our decision makers are even more disconnected from the issues that keep us awake at night, Giving Back highlights the people and movements taking on some of the most challenging social issues of our time.
A respected figure in philanthropy, Derek A. Bardowell presents a unique insight into what’s going on inside the world of giving and where we can best make a difference.
From redefining the role of charity itself to reimagining philanthropy through a reparative lens, Bardowell introduces a radical new take on how social problems, from climate change to racial injustice, can be tackled in modern society by all of us.
Filled with lively insights and moving stories, Giving Back is here to break down the walls of charitable giving. If you loved Factfulness, Lost Connections, and What White People Can Do Next, this book will challenge some of your truths and change the way you give.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.