Thanks largely to the attention of large philanthropic organizations (W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors), identity-based funds are becoming better recognized worldwide as an efficacious form of strategic giving.

The latest issue of Philanthropy UK Magazine acknowledges the fact that mainstream philanthropy in Great Britain is not representative of the populations it serves. While a growing number of minority individuals in Britain are getting involved in philanthropy, and diaspora philanthropy represents a growing sector of giving, there persists a large deficit of foundations focused primarily on minority issues. In this, the British draw inspiration from America, where more minorities are becoming funders and are not simply beneficiaries of philanthropy.

Organizations such as Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP), Asians and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), and the Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP) have grown from the grassroots out of a need for American philanthropy to become more inclusive and equitable. While this more structured form of ethnic giving is relatively new, the reality is that minorities in America have been giving to charitable causes for a long time, but they often did not call it “philanthropy,” traditionally the realm of wealthy white businessmen.

While the above organizations work to increase the visibility of minority giving in the mainstream foundation world, they are also calling for a “democratization of philanthropy,” a new definition of philanthropy that calls for people of all income brackets to give of their time, treasure and talent – nicely summed up in this new video produced by a group of African American philanthropists.

Our hope is that the work of ethnic philanthropy organizations will continue to inspire foundations, both in the United States and abroad, to make the philanthropy map look a little more colorful.

Photo courtesy f2point8

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