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Endowing Social Change Organizations for Equity and Sustainability

Liz Diebold July 13, 2022

Endowments are the ultimate form of trust-based philanthropy because they transfer power in addition to assets. Donors have a track record of contributing to endowments for the arts, universities, and think tanks. But funding for social change organizations driving action and impact for a more just society generally takes the form of one-year grants with milestones and accountability requirements negotiated by the funder. This session will explore how endowing social change organizations can shift power and uplift equity. You’ll hear practical considerations from an organization raising a quasi-endowment and a funder championing this approach.



Meta Themes

  • Power and Capital


Reimagine systems

Purpose and Desired Outcome

- Inspire funders and investors to “think differently”. For investors open to concessional deals, would they consider a repayable grant to an endowment? For funders who like projects and annual deliverables, would they consider sharing power by funding a social change org’s endowment? - Inspire social change leaders to “ask differently” and think about an endowment structure - either as a single org or in collaboration with others. Amplify PolicyLink’s capital campaign, inclusive of a quasi-endowment, as an example.


  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Intermediaries (Financial Advisers, Investment Bankers)

  • Entrepreneurs

  • Service Providers

  • Accelerators & Incubators


  • NameMichael McAfee
  • TitlePresident and CEO
  • OrganizationPolicyLink
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameLiz Diebold
  • TitleManaging Director
  • OrganizationSkoll Foundation
  • StatusConfirmed
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