Dr. Una Osili

Philanthropy expert shares strategies to advance equity in giving

At a time when the longstanding work for racial equity and justice is center stage, the challenges and opportunities for philanthropy are immense. Foundations and donors have tremendous power to advance change through their giving and engage diverse groups of stakeholders in facilitating that change.

A group of Rose Community Foundation donors and fundholders were recently joined by Dr. Una Osili, associate dean at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, who shared strategies to help funders apply an equity lens to their giving and support efforts to create just and inclusive communities.

The Lilly School is the first school dedicated to the study of philanthropy. There, Dr. Osili leads the research and publication of the Giving USA annual report on American philanthropy and is the founder of Generosity for Life, a digital platform providing data tools for philanthropic financial decision making. She also chairs the Philanthropy Panel Study, the most comprehensive study of the generosity of American families over time.

Dr. Osili shared findings on how philanthropy has changed since the beginning of 2020, including trends in giving from foundations and individual donors to nonprofits working in social justice. She also offered tips for closing the “intention gap” of goals and actions, and how donors can use their time, voice and community connections to advance equity.

Dr. Osili acknowledged that the pandemic and racial justice reckoning have hopefully changed philanthropy for the better. “While there is a lot of work to do in our communities, there is also a tremendous opportunity to embrace the voices that have demanded change and to think about how all of us can infuse issues of equity into our day-to-day lives.”

If you are interested in learning more about grassroots organizations working to address systemic inequities for communities of color in Greater Denver, we hope you will reference Rose Community Foundation’s Racial Justice and Equity Giving Guide. The guide features 20 Foundation grantees with visionary leaders who are deeply connected to the communities they serve. We invite you to join us in supporting their important efforts. For support in your giving, please contact our Philanthropic Services team

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