GuideStar Blog

Jen Bokoff

Recent Posts by Jen Bokoff:

Gaining a Say: Lifting Up Philanthropy’s Unheard Voices

For many, “philanthropy”—both the word and the field—conjures up images of elitism. Questions are proliferating about philanthropy’s power dynamics and whether billionaires benefit more than average citizens do: for example, Anand Giridharadas in Winners Take All, Rob Reich in Just Giving, and Edgar Villanueva in Decolonizing Wealth.

As good as those published works may be, the discussion about them reinforces the elitism that they decry. Even worse, while these book are often described as a new wave of criticism, that is hardly the case: There have long been valid critiques of philanthropy, especially from community organizers, grassroots nonprofits, and innovative social entrepreneurs.


Tidying Up Philanthropy

Since returning from a recent trip to Japan, I’ve been hyper-aware of the chaos and trash that my home city (New York) seems resigned to. It’s everywhere—from overflowing trash cans (often full of items that could be recycled) to people angrily elbowing their way off the subway. But when people and places take pride in tidiness, shared space, and orderly mores, interaction becomes more effective and enjoyable. The same is a helpful reminder for philanthropy in more ways than we might think! To name a few:


  Your Nonprofit Profile on GuideStar has a new Demographics section.