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Shifting Power in Philanthropy

The Challenge

Philanthropy has the power to change lives and create a better world, but to be truly effective, it must involve the active engagement of all stakeholders - the organizations and individuals who are affected by the issues being addressed. By engaging stakeholders in the philanthropic process, we can ensure that the resources and support provided are aligned with the needs of the community and that the impact of efforts are maximized.

How can philanthropy partner with parent leaders to advance racial equity and build parent power?


The Approach

Starting in 2019, VIVA has helped Funders for Family Leadership (FFL) grow its national membership, provide actionable tools to support network learning, and facilitate philanthropic learning opportunities such as conference convenings, learning cohorts, and webinar series. FFL works with VIVA to walk the walk when it comes to parent power.

Specifically, this means supporting partnership building with parent leaders of color from the United Parent Leader Action Network (UPLAN). As a result of this partnership, an actionable tool called The Philanthropic Self-Reflection Tool for Equitable Parent Partnerships was co-created and released and a national Parent-Funder Learning Community was established.

VIVA also created a network website, manages member communications, and facilitates the FFL Advisory Committee. 


From 2019, when VIVA first started working with FFL, to 2023, there has been a 56% growth in the network.



About Funders for Family Leadership

The Funders for Family Leadership (FFL), a national network of philanthropic organizations, has a goal of transforming philanthropic practice to equitably partner with and center family leaders so that system changes are led by their expertise and lived experiences. 

Funders for Family Leadership Advisory Committee (Past and Present)

  • Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • Heising-Simons Foundation
  • Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health 
  • The Greater Rochester Health Foundation
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • The Wilson Foundation
  • William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation

FFL is fiscally sponsored by NEO Philanthropy and supported by several members of the network

“VIVA Social Impact Partners have been a thought partner and driver in the development and execution of the Funders’ Group on Parent Organizing, Family Engagement, and Leadership Development. VIVA’s support and guidance have been key to our efforts as we strive to elevate parent voice and improve the way that foundations authentically connect, engage, and partner with community.” 

- Anita Black, Program Officer, Greater Rochester Health Foundation