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Grassroots Philanthropy—Giving At Every Level

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At D5, we believe in the importance of showcasing the work being done to advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the field. The following post is the first in our ongoing series:  Building the Movement: Voices of Leaders Working to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Philanthropy.

by  Valerie Oliver-Durrah, President and CEO, Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic

All of us have the potential to be philanthropists. Philanthropy is the desire to promote the welfare of others—and that’s something that we can find within ourselves, and not just within the walls of foundations.

In mid-January, the Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic, a nonprofit technical assistance provider based in New York City, launched our strategy to raise awareness of the cross-cutting impacts of philanthropy—and of all of our roles as philanthropists in our communities. To start the conversation, we showed I Am A Philanthropist at the College of Staten Island. The film, produced by D5 and the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, demonstrates how philanthropy is more effective—and our communities stronger—when the philanthropists themselves come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, and give in different ways.

Over 75 members in the Staten Island community—including students and local nonprofit leaders—took away lessons from the film, and from each other. Together, they expanded the definition of philanthropy to apply it to their own lives—exploring how they could offer their time, talent and treasure (“the three Ts”) to serve their communities.

By defining philanthropy in a way that most community members could more easily see their role in it, we helped to create a new group of philanthropists—empowered to give back to their communities in diverse and meaningful ways.

View the I Am A Philanthropist video here

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