From the inside out, this study of a democratic philantrophy probes the world of social movement funding
Money for Change
Social Movement Philanthropy at the Haymarket People's Fund
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Susan A. Ostrander
Charitable foundations are being called upon to operate in more open and democratic ways and to involve a more diverse constituency. This unprecedented study details the inner workings of a democratically organized philanthropy, where funding decisions are made by community activists. Susan A. Ostrander spent two years doing intensive field research at the Haymarket People's Funda small, Boston-based foundation. Based on a philosophy of raising and giving away money called "Change Not Charity," the Fund makes grants to local grassroots social change organizations. The world of social movement funding comes alive with Ostrander's description of grantmaking, policy meetings, donor events, and the day-to-day work of the Fund staff.
Within this fascinating behind-the-scenes account, Ostrander argues that the "social relations of philanthropy" are more important and more varied than previously understood. Written at a time when Haymarket was dealing with crisis, this book tells a story of organizational change as the Fund moved from an informal collective to a more formal structure; it is also the story of a struggle to build a multi-race, multi-class, gender-equal organization. Ostrander details these ongoing struggles and addresses the larger issue of how fundraising can itself be a kind of social movement organizing among the progressive people with wealth who continue to be Haymarket's main donors.
"...an outstandingly insightful study... [This book] deserves the attention of readers concerned about the future of traditions of giving and volunteering in America."
"Susan Ostrander gives us fascinating insights into a small but noteworthy slice of the philanthropic piethe public foundation committed to social change. Through an intimate examination of the inner workings of Haymarket People's Fund over more than two years, she sheds light on one of the fundamental issues for the foundation field generally: the enduring power of money to coopt the very groups or issues that donors seek to liberate.... Money for Change makes an important contribution to the literature about grantmaking institutions. It is also a thought-provoking commentary on fundraising that should stimulate healthy debate in the funding community."
"There has been a profound tension in social movement philanthropy between the popular movements that need support and the wealthy donors who control the purse strings. In this highly original and insightful book, Susan Ostrander shows how Haymarket People's Fund has overcome this clash by putting philanthropic decision-making into the hands of the movement activists and making the donors into movement activists."
"This very careful and well-written ethnography of Haymarket People's Fund provides an important opportunity to rethink the relationship between established funding sources and social movement activity. It is worthwhile reading, not only for social movement researchers but also for activists, funding practitioners, and scholars interested in the dynamics of participatory organizations."
Susan A. Ostrander is Professor of Sociology at Tufts University and author of Women of the Upper Class (Temple).