Engaging Community in Community-Based Philanthropy

This session will provide specific lessons from a collaborative, equity-focused program that shifted power for decision-making about community investment into the hands of those most impacted by the work. The presentation will include learnings from the Kaleidoscope Project’s partnership with DHIC to implement a place-based intervention focused on supporting children’s social and emotional well-being in a purpose-built community. The presenters will share actions taken to authentically engage with residents of the community. Honoring the voice of community members required DHIC, the Kaleidoscope Project, and their funder, the John Rex Endowment (JRE), to step back and cede control over the process. The organizational players committed to following the lead of a team of residents as they collected input from their neighbors, decided how JRE’s money would be used, and hired an artist to create a mural for their housing community. This presentation will include concrete examples that illustrate how funders and nonprofits can go beyond theory and training to meaningful implementation of equity principles in their programming. What does it mean to “move at the speed of trust” or “embrace uncertainty” or shift from “transactional to relational” when working with communities? Presenters will share the successes and challenges, the ways they pushed systems to change, experiences of the system pushing back, and the role of evaluation and ongoing reflection in creating an equitable process and outcomes.

This session made possible by Mutual of America.


Melissa Forde
Project Director
Charlene Reiss
Stan Holt
Co-Owner and Senior Advisor
Event Details
  • Days
  • Start Date
    November 3, 2023 2:45 pm
  • End Date
    November 3, 2023 4:00 pm
  • Status