In social justice philanthropy, the money we mobilize to resource social movements is as political as the movements themselves. We recognize that wealth is rooted in exploitation of the planet’s resources, of people, and of their labor. It is impossible to ignore that philanthropy is built upon an inequitable system based on colonial, patriarchal and capitalist ideals.
But it is not impossible to change the game.
At FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund, it is our core belief that the resources we mobilize belong to the young feminist movements we support and that they should have the power to decide where these resources go. Through our long-established participatory processes, we have worked for the past few years to develop FRIDA’s first Resource Mobilization Ethics Policy. With this policy, we intend to shed light on the ethical dilemmas we face while operating in the global philanthropic ecosystem, increase transparency of FRIDA’s fundraising efforts, better engage our community in the decision-making processes, and ensure that none of the partnerships we enter harm the movements we set out to support.
FRIDA is committed to dismantling traditional elements of philanthropy like tokenism and saviourism. We believe in redistribution of resources and reshaping power dynamics in our own community, while advocating for more and better resources for young feminist movements. With this policy we are working to increase our efforts to hold ourselves accountable to the young feminist, trans and intersex groups that we support.
FRIDA’s RM Ethics Policy outlines Ideal characteristics of donors FRIDA would consider mobilizing or accepting from:
- Donors that actively support FRIDA’s values of participatory decision-making, flexibility, transparency, and holistic security
- Donors that seek to leverage their own additional networks and power to direct more resources to young feminist organizers and FRIDA
- Donors that are open to learning and innovation, open to adapting and facilitating an open partnership with FRIDA.
- Donors that believe in the community-led process and collective power, trusting young feminists to be experts of their own reality
- Donors that don’t tokenize in order to pinkwash their agenda
- Donors who recognize their source of wealth in the context of unequal dynamics of gender, race, class, and more
- Donors who are committed to a social justice vision despite the exploitative source of their wealth
- Donors who allow FRIDA to negotiate the terms and conditions of the partnership to protect FRIDA grantee partners and community members
As a feminist fund operating within this system, we are committed to doing our part to transform traditional philanthropy by creating a set of guidelines upon which we are able to receive funding. The movements we fund demand transparency and that the funding they receive is in accordance with their principles. We are living by this promise after consulting our community on the ethics that guide our mobilization of resources to fund young feminist activism.