Thursday, June 25, 2009

Can we strive for mutuality in philanthropy?

After taking an action research course this summer from renowned scholar Bill Torbert where we learned to strive for mutuality in our relationships, I was struck by Philantopic's most recent blog post titled "Women are bright spot Amid Economic Gloom" which spoke of the mutuality embodied by women's philanthropy. The post stated:
  • The report holds up this new, more democratic model of philanthropy as a beacon for all, re-imagining philanthropy as a horizontal collaboration of trusted equals.
  • Too often over the years, philanthropy was dispensed top-down and vertically, and was not informed by the wisdom of solutions cultivated at the grassroots.
  • Women's funds, like no other area of philanthropy, have for three decades pioneered and developed a democratic model of giving, with donors and grantees sharing grantmaking decisions.
Why is it that only women's philanthropy strives for mutuality? If we are truly trying to change the world, wouldn't it be best if all of philanthropy strives for collaboration and mutuality? I look forward to a day when we can put our egos aside, see the best in each other, and strive for mutuality in philanthropy.

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