Foundations that seek to advance justice and equity cannot do so without interrogating how they are (or aren’t) holding, sharing, and relinquishing power. Click below to learn more about tools and case studies that aim to help foundations rethink and revamp their current practices.

Power Moves published by National Council for Responsive Philanthropy shares how foundations can use their power to advance social justice at an institutional level, while the National Center for Family Philanthropy briefing features case studies of family foundations and their work to share power. These tools are part of philanthropy’s efforts to both account for and transform the harm that often comes with the traditional charitable mindset of “giving back.”


National Center for Responsive Philanthropy, “Power Moves!” Conference Presentation and Toolkit:

Photo Credit: CCP



In collaboration with the National Center for Responsive Philanthropy’s (NCRP) Jeanné Isler, PFF President Laura McCargar led a session at the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy’s (CCP) 2019 Annual Conference. The Conference’s title was “Reimagining Philanthropy: Strategies for Success”, and the workshop, “Power Moves! Shifting Foundation Operations and Practices to Increase Foundation Impact”. The Power Moves! Assessment Guide provided tools to help foundation’s operations and practices use lenses of power and equity to actualize the potential for transformation at all organizational levels. 

Photo Credit: NCRP, Power Moves



National Center for Family Philanthropy
“Bridging the Power Divide”:

Photo Credit: NCRP, “Passages”

Sharing power has also been a topic discussed by the National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP). In a recent brief NCFP explores the concept of navigating power at all levels specifically within family foundations. Titled, “Bridging the Power Divide: How Family Funders Share and Shift Power“, the brief seeks to answer the questions, “As a family funder, how can you acknowledge and responsibly navigate the power of your position? How does the power and privilege you hold affect those you interact with and support? How can you use your power for good—to make lasting impact?” 

“There is not a lot of room in family philanthropy for people to do a personal mapping of power they hold, and that their families have held for generations,” she says. “We need to have space to process the origins of privilege—and what that means to each of us, as individuals, as families, as foundations.” – Laura McCargar