Who are our nonprofit disruptors and instigators? - Generocity Philly


Jan. 7, 2020 3:55 pm

Who are our nonprofit disruptors and instigators?

As part of our January editorial calendar topic, this month we focus on the totally awesome (and just a little bit fearsome) "Disruptors and Instigators" of the nonprofit world.

"Disruptor" and "instigator" is how we refer to the productive risktakers, radical gamechangers and upstart refocusers of the nonprofit world.

(Image by Prawny from Pixabay )

Once upon a time, we quailed at the idea of being labeled “disruptors” or “instigators.” Now the words are badges of honor.

That’s because “disruptor” and “instigator” is how we refer to the productive risktakers, radical gamechangers and upstart refocusers of the nonprofit world.

On a national level, the disruptors and instigators include people like Liz Dozier, the founder and CEO of Chicago Beyond, who is upending the power dynamic between funders, researchers and community organizations, and who gave a rousing  keynote about how exactly that’s done at Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia‘s SPARX conference late last year.

Or Edgar Villanueva, the vice president of programs and advocacy at the Schott Foundation for Public Education, chair of the board of directors of Native Americans in Philanthropy, and author of the book, Decolonizing Wealth.

“The sprinkling of dollars in the way that it’s currently happening will never, ever, ever repair the harm that’s been done. […] I’m pushing us to really think and imagine something really difficult. How can philanthropy play a role in true reparations?”

— Villanueva, in a 2018 interview with Colorlines

Philadelphia has its disruptors and instigators as well. On the philanthropy side, we’ve written about Independent Public Media Foundation‘s Molly de Aguiar and Laura Kind McKenna of the Patricia Kind Family Foundation, who are instigating change in how their foundations look to invest.

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On the grassroots community side, we’ve also written about Black and Brown Workers Collective, and how its leaders, Shani Akilah and Abdul-Aliy Muhammad, have disrupted the way we demand transparency in the civic and nonprofit sector — by creating a platform from which employees and communities can call for accountability from employers/community leaders.

This month we’ll be highlighting other individuals and organizations that are starting small revolutions in the Philadelphia-area through their approaches, methodologies, practices and new dynamics of governance. If there is an organization you believe is doing noteworthy disruptive work, if you know individuals who are the best kind of instigator and disruptor, please let us know!

Suggest your favorite Philly instigator and/or disruptor!

In addition to our editorial calendar topic, this month we start a new feature focused on providing reskilling tips related (marginally) to the editorial topic. This month, look for quick facts about how nonprofit pros can gain the trust of the communities their organizations serve.


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