Monthly Archives: September 2022

Latest issue of Alliance and special feature on the decolonisation of philanthropy

I’m happy to say that the new issue of Alliance is now out

In it, we ask: What does decolonisation mean when it comes to philanthropy? And should more foundations be practicing it?

There’s lots to say on this question in our special feature, guided by features editor Andrew Milner (see Andrew’s introductory article here) and guest edited by Shonali Banerjee (Centre for Strategic Philanthropy, Cambridge University) and Urvi Shriram (Indian School of Development Management). They explore why decolonisation is essential to a more equitable world – ‘an essential step towards a broader paradigm shift in the sector.’

Our guest editors warn that ‘an unwillingness by philanthropists to transform governance will result in long-term colonial legacies and top-down power structures remaining in place’. They also issue a warning for homegrown philanthropy arguing ‘that truly decolonised philanthropy calls for more than just an increased number of representative non-white philanthropists, if these individuals are potentially recreating harmful practices in their home countries.’ That’s something I pick up in my editorial which questions whether the presentation – in crude terms – of northern vice and southern virtue could be counter-productive to the process of decolonisation. Read morehere.

The feature includes viewpoints from Brazil, India, South Africa, Lebanon and Canada as well as a dialogue with Edgar Villanueva, the author and founder of the decolonising wealth project. 


We hear from Maria Souza of the Casa Fund in Brazil who calls on more Brazilian philanthropists to follow MacKenzie Scott’s lead in backing progressive civil society. We also talk to the CEO of the conservative Philanthropy Roundtable, Elise Westhoff who tells Alliance that she is open to a dialogue about decolonisation though wants to better understand its meaning first.