The New Way Forward For Community Investment

May 3, 2022

With everything that’s happened in the past few years, there’s been a lot of talk about “returning to normal.” But is that really what’s best for all of us?

There’s no sense in going back to the way things were when that way wasn’t working for so many. There are new possibilities to explore, and we need to invest in this potential if we want our communities to thrive.

We can acknowledge our interconnectedness. We can restructure the ways that we support and rely on each other. We can redefine what it means to be a community.

This is a time for hope and for dreaming of what could be. It’s time to learn from past mistakes and take action. It’s time for a new way forward.

Collaborating and Trusting

Our recently released report, “81 Reasons You Are Missing Out On The Next Big Thing” suggests new ways of thinking about philanthropy and community investment. It shines a light on the inequities that persist throughout the non-profit sector, and the untapped potential existing within our communities.

The report offers data and insights that can help us move beyond the frameworks of philanthropy that are rooted in unfair dynamics of power and privilege. It encourages us to form more equitable relationships based on collaboration and trust.

We can then create space for everyone in the community to contribute to and benefit from the healing and rebuilding process. Philanthropic systems can support the experts, the leaders, the innovators that already exist within our communities.

We can access the knowledge and resolve of the community members who are closest to the problem, and work together to efficiently, effectively, and equitably address the needs of our communities.

Living in an Ecosystem of Support

The work of transforming our organizations and communities begins within oneself.

Use the data from our “81 Reasons…” report to re-examine your place in the ecosystem of trust, collaboration, and support.

Ask yourself:

  • What can I learn from the community? Recognize that you don’t have all the answers and that others may be better positioned to understand the nuances and complexities of the situation.
  • What is my role in the community? Know what you can offer and contribute, and be honest about your limitations and the boundaries of your role.
  • What is my responsibility to the community? Understand that you have an obligation to act with integrity, and be willing to take risks for the benefit of all.
  • What is the impact of my work? Be thoughtful about the ways your work affects everyone, and be open to adapting and evolving as your work progresses.
  • What does community investment look like for me? Work to establish relationships built on respect and understanding. Be authentic, transparent, and consistent in your actions.

By focusing your heart and mind on mutual collaboration, you can then bring that perspective into your organizations and your work.

Realizing The New Way Forward

Together, we are establishing new ways of being together, new ways of relating to one another, of sharing with each other. We are recognizing the value and potential of our collective power.

You are an important part of this new way forward.

Start by exploring the insights found in our “81 Reasons…” report. Share it with your colleagues. Discuss its findings in your next meeting.

Help us create and distribute more equitable resources by donating to Maven or getting involved with our initiatives.

Philanthropy is changing. The tides are shifting, and we are beginning to see new possibilities for what our communities can achieve.

Read the Report