I have been thinking through a question that I heard from Joanne Florino, and thought I’d throw it out for discussion. She asked “when, in our conversations about inclusiveness in philanthropy, are we going to start talking about how to introduce new wealth creators to the art and practice of good philanthropy”? She went on to point out that we as a field have gotten very good about thinking and talking about diversity and inclusion, but also pointed out that we’re still not as good as we could be at talking about how to engage all kinds of people with wealth.
As a young trustee of a family foundation, I understand what she’s getting at. I, essentially, inherited my family foundation. To be honest, I would have no idea what good grant making is, let alone how to do it, let alone how to even think about it, were it not for the experiences I had growing up in a philanthropic family. What about new wealth creators, particularly from communities outside the traditional family philanthropy spaces? How do we connect with them? How do we help them find us? How do we engage them in philanthropy in a way that is impactful? Furthermore, what new perspectives can we learn from those wealth creators ? What needs might they be able to spot?
Mary Galeti is vice chair of The Tecovas Foundation.