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Module 4: Unit 2

Philanthropy as a tool for social change

What is the role of philanthropic giving in the community? You may not always agree, but there is a wealth of information for young people to start their journey. 

In this unit you will find examples of young people and family foundations that are using their resources to create social change.

Read (10 minutes)
The power to produce wonders: The value of family philanthropy in a democracy This article gives describes the power of family philanthropy to create lasting change. It also describes the unique position American family foundations are in and how to use that to a family’s advantage.
Read (90+ minutes)
Creating change through family philanthropy ($$) Creating Change Through Family Philanthropy explains how privilege works in our society, and how young people can use it to better society. Based on the authors’ experiences with Resource Generation, a national nonprofit working with wealthy young progressives, the book makes the case for addressing urgent social and economic needs financially. It frames controversial topics from power dynamics to grants payout in an accessible way, offering next-generation readers the tools they need to transform their funds. Drawing on over 40 interviews, this is an essential guide for both young philanthropists and anyone working with wealthy families interested in ethical giving.
Read (30 minutes)
Family Foundations as Agents of Change By tapping into their personal and professional relationships, as well as a deep understanding of local issues, family foundations of all sizes can play a crucial role in efforts to solve complex issues.
Read (90+ minutes)
Classified: How to stop hiding your privilege and use it for social change! Complete with comics, exercises, and personal stories, this book gives readers the tools they need to put their privilege to work for social change. Classified is a resource guide for people with class privilege who are tired of cover-ups and ready to figure out how their privilege really works.
Tune-in (60 minutes)
For youth by youth: Your voice. Your world. Building your capacity to ignite change Listen to youth in philanthropy describe the power of their voice and how they advocate for the causes that matter most to them, whether it be to drive change in their own backyards or under resourced communities around the world.
Tune-in (60 minutes)
Creating social change through your family's philanthropy This webinar replay discusses how families and family members of all ages can address social inequalities. It also looks at what this means for the families and how examining what social causes a family is passionate about can help set priorities and goals.
Tune-in (60 minutes)
Risk taking in philanthropy: An engine for innovation and social change Learn about risk taking as it applies to family foundations and social justice causes, as well as how to be successful in these risks and embrace failures. It outlines the experiences of families that have taken such risks and how to navigate each situation.
Do (60 minutes)

Bolder Advocacy

Join Alliance for Justice's Bolder Advocacy Program

Completing the activity: Participate in events hosted by Bolder Advocacy, including lunch time talks focused on nonprofits, community organizing, and philanthropy.

Do (90+ minutes)


Teaching social change: 5 student service-learning activities

Completing the activity: Get started in social change by participating in one or more of five small-scale giving opportunities:

  • Adopt a soldier
  • Sponsor an animal
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  • Waste not, want not
  • Plant a community garden

Explore how participating in social change activities can assist you in your philanthropic giving.