Defining social justice philanthropy

Social justice philanthropy — as distinct from other methods of philanthropy — is difficult to define. 

While efforts tend to focus on the institutional structures that contribute to injustice, getting a handle on essential characteristics is tricky because the field of social justice philanthropy encompasses a wide range of related practices.

Albert Ruesga, president and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, addresses this and other challenges to the theory and practice of social justice philanthropy in the December issue of Alliance Magazine, an international journal on philanthropy and social investment.

In his article “What is Social Justice Philanthropy?” — also published by White Courtesy Telephone — Ruega responds to claims that social justice philanthropy is redundant, useless, or a product of uncompromising radicalism and impractical ideology.

“Given [the] significant investment of philanthropic money and effort in addressing the needs of the indigent,” Ruega acknowledges, “one might wonder why there’s a felt need for a special kind of philanthropy, a ‘social justice philanthropy,’ which purportedly aims to do more for marginalized communities than typical, run-of-the-mill grantmaking.”

Read Ruesga’s article defining and defending social justice philanthropy at White Courtesy Telephone or in Alliance Magazine.

Are you familiar with an organization for social justice philanthropy in Minnesota? Tell us about it in the comment section below.

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