Outrageous Generosity Blog
Jason Franklin PhD

Giving Options in Response to Ferguson

August 15th, 2014 by Jason Franklin PhD

I’ve been getting many questions about how people can help, and especially donate, in support of the organizing being done in response to Ferguson and to support the Brown family and Ferguson residents. Responding to these donor questions, we've pulled together some resources to help you take action. Our support from around the country is still needed!

It’s a changing landscape but here’s what I’ve gathered so far:

  • Supporting the Brown Family - Sadly scam solicitations are popping up. We've been able to confirm with the family's representatives that there are two confirmed ways to support Michael Brown’s family after the loss of their son. You can give online or donations can be made payable to the Michael Brown Jr. Memorial Fund” and mailed to Fifth Third Bank (all other online campaigns are unauthorized or scams).
  • Community Needs - There is also a campaign to raise money for the Ferguson food bank to help kids who may not get fed because they’re out of school and missing the school breakfast/lunch programs. We'll be adding other community need fundraisers as we learn about them.
  • Local Organizing Efforts - There is a lot of organizing being done in Ferguson and nationally around the issues raised by Michael Brown's death. We've asked around to find out who is working locally in Ferguson/St. Louis and have assembled a list of resources of efforts we've been able to confirm. In addition, many national groups  are mobilizing but we haven't catalogued them all as they're easier to find online. 

You can check out all the resources we've collected (and will continue to update as we learn more) at bit.ly/FergusonGivingOptions. If you know of other resources we should add, please let us know!

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Otar Makharashvili

Meet our new Bold Giver - Amb. William vanden Heuvel

July 14th, 2014 by Otar Makharashvili

I'm really excited that today Ambassador William J. vandan Heuvel joined our community of Bold Givers - you can read his story here. I first met Ambassador vanden Heuvel when I was working at the Roosevelt Institute and was inspired by his drive, determination and philanthropy to make history relevant to contemporary generations and to use it as a "guide and illuminating light for political, social and economical decision-making." 

Throughout his distinguished and busy career as a lawyer, diplomat, businessman, and scholar, Ambassador vanden Heuvel has worked tirelessly to realize Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s ideals of social justice, human rights, and collaboration among nations. 

I hope you'll take a moment and read his story. I'm sure it will leave you inspired as well to think about balancing your career with your commitments to public life and philanthropy. 

Happy reading!

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Jason Franklin PhD

Visualizing a theory of change for your giving - Amazing example from Ford

June 30th, 2014 by Jason Franklin PhD

My friend Jee Kim joined the Ford Foundation two years ago as a program officer with the charge to create a portfolio funding “transformative social change.”

But what is transformative social change? How do you fund it? How do you even define it?

As Jee says, “I started pulling frameworks and theories from sociologists, political scientists, historians and campaign strategists. I ran some of my ideas by colleagues and organizers and other people smarter than me. I found myself in my office surrounded by butcher paper filled with circles and arrows, trying to capture a multi-dimensional process on a two dimensional plane. And then I worked closely with our communications team to produce a shareable version of my theory of change.”

The result is this amazing animation (which Jee is quick to note doesn’t fully capture even his one initiative’s approach, let alone Ford’s overall strategy). His hope is to spark conversation – what resonates, what’s missing, what could be added?

For my part, after just finishing my PhD research looking at the role of philanthropy in policy change, I can’t help but want to see more about the power dynamics of funding as they intersect with social change. How do individual donors, foundations, nonprofit leaders, organizers, public officials and others interact? These three elements combine but not in a linear process, there is an ebb and flow, a struggle backwards and forwards even when all the elements needed for change are present. How can we include this an animation on how change happens? And where do the opponents come in- the competing narratives and organizing efforts that push back against or slow down or block a social movement?

But regardless of the things I’d add, I’m frankly also a bit in awe of this animation – one of the clearest visual articulations of a progressive theory of change I’ve ever seen (doesn’t hurt to have the Ford communications team resources behind creating this either!).

Thanks Jee for creating this…looking forward to the discussions that follow and seeing version 2.0 sometime down the line! :-)

 And to readers of this blog, what else would you add/change/refine for a 2.0 version?

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