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Giving Thought podcast

PHILANTHROPY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

We explore the strengths and weaknesses of philanthropy through its historic role in campaigns for social change.

12 November 2019

In episode 60 we look at the relationship between philanthropy, diversity and inclusion, and in particular at what we can learn from the historic role that philanthropy has played in campaigns for social change about some of its strengths and weaknesses when it comes to driving greater diversity and inclusion. Including:
  • Overcoming the ‘tyranny of the majority’: philanthropy and civil society plurality as a means of giving voice to minorities
  • Is philanthropy particularly good at accepting the political and reputational risks required to support unpopular or marginalised causes and bring them into the mainstream?
  • Does philanthropy have a longer-term time horizon than the public or private sector, and does this make it better at sticking with issues?
  • Does the fact that philanthropy is not accountable to voters or shareholders make it able to take the risks necessary to drive social change?
  • Why should we be alarmed about suggestions that philanthropy should be measured against public opinion?
  • Can appreciating the historic campaigning role of philanthropy and civil society help us to counter current political antipathy and the worrying 'closing space for civil society' around the world?
  • Why is the process of philanthropy important, as well as the outcomes it produces? Can it teach people vital civic skills, or create greater social cohesion?
  • Is philanthropy too paternalistic, and too often about decisions being made about marginalise communities rather than by them?
  • Can philanthropy obscure the need for more radical reform?
  • Why is the distinction between charity and justice so important?
  • Can philanthropy lead to ‘hyper-pluralism’, where vast range of smaller identity groups emerge and end up obscuring the bigger picture of an issue?
  • The history of the anti-slavery movement: long-termism and creating a broad base of support
  • The fight for civil rights: how did philanthropists go against the status quo, and how do institutions interact with movements?
  • Women’s rights: what role did philanthropy play in paving the way for universal suffrage, and did it also work against women’s fight for the vote?
  • LGBTQ+ rights: the battle between pragmatism vs idealism, and does mainstream funding bring legitimacy as well as financial support?

About the Giving Thought podcast

The Giving Thought podcast is an exploration of trends in global philanthropy and civil society.  Since launching in May 2017, the podcast has become recognised as an insightful and influential source of philanthropic debate. 

In each episode Rhodri Davies, Director of our Giving Thought Think Tank, and guests, take a contemporary issue in philanthropy and civil society and break it down into three manageable chunks, giving an overview of the extensive work they have done on the subject.  Episodes are also available free on iTunes and Libsyn.

Visit the Giving Thought podcast library

Rhodri Davies

Rhodri Davies

Head of Policy

Rhodri leads Giving Thought, our in-house think tank focusing on current and future issues affecting philanthropy and civil society. Rhodri has spent nearly a decade specialising in public policy around philanthropy and the work of charities, and has researched, written and presented on a wide range of topics. He has a first-class degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from the University of Oxford.   Read more about Rhodri

E:
givingthought@cafonline.org

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