What is Indie Philanthropy?

Indie Philanthropy is a creative disruption to the status quo of funding. It gives a common name to decentralized, daring funding alternatives that together are poised to reshape the field of philanthropy.

Some Indie Philanthropy practices have been around for decades while others are emerging in real time.

Indie Philanthropy approaches are bringing radical ideas into the mainstream, changing the face of philanthropy, and adding much needed diversity and creativity to the field. Join us in activating the next wave of thoughtful, proactive giving.

What Defines an Indie Philanthropist?

Indie Philanthropists are looking closely not just at WHAT gets funded, but also WHO makes decisions and HOW funding is done. We care about philanthropic culture–and want the WAY we give to mirror the healthier world we seek.

On the growing edges of the field, many of us are funding innovation often overlooked by mainstream funders. These risk-takers are shifting our culture, our institutions, and our planet toward bold, vibrant solutions. To drive experimentation, we are embracing unconventional tools to support hard-to-reach emerging visionaries and welcoming failure’ as part of learning.

Many of us believe deeper collaboration is the emerging currency. Instead of seeing grantees, we see partners. We are consciously reducing funder-grantee power imbalances. We are inviting communities we support to the funding decision-making table. We are encouraging more empowered community-driven giving.

Many of us are committed to doing the inner work of clarifying our deepest values, real motivations and highest intentions, so that our outer work can be honest, aligned and successful.

We are looking at all our resources–our investments, our influence, our relationships, and our grants and leveraging them for change.

Why Indie Philanthropy?

With planetary challenges escalating, time is of the essence and we are in need of bold alternatives. Traditional funding has sometimes fallen short in addressing our global challenges–helping mobilize only a fraction of our world’s creative talent. In some cases, philanthropy has done more harm than good.

Within mainstream philanthropy, certain types of organizations receive the lion’s share of the giving pool. Indie Philanthropy helps break open the funding space to give power and voice to a wider, more diverse array of innovators.

By giving ourselves a common name, Indie Philanthropy is magnifying the power of people inspired by Indie values to reimagine funding. Together, we embolden mainstream funders and those stepping into philanthropy to try creative grantmaking approaches.

By equalizing power, we transform our relationships and communities. In the tumult of change, what seemed impossible becomes possible.

Who is involved with the Indie Philanthropy Initiative?

Kindle Project created the Indie Philanthropy Initiative in 2014. Arianne Shaffer, Sadaf Cameron, and Laura Loescher developed the content on this website. During the following 6 years, under Arianne’s leadership, IPI collaborated with dozens of funders and networks on a wide range of programs serving to spark change across the sector. Core organizational partners included EDGE Funders Alliance, Resource Generation, and Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. Key team members, advisors, and Steering Committee members in recent years include Hana ElSafoury, Biz Ghormley, Ginger Hinz, Vassag Hovsep, Rachel Humphrey, Sadaf Cameron, and Laura Loescher

Since 2020, IPI has down-shifted its activities and primarily exists as this online toolkit available to the public. 

Kindle Project is an outside-the-box grantmaking organization supporting wild solutions, by unusual suspects, in the attempt to move mountains. They are invested in democratized, collaborative, and strategic grantmaking that aligns donors and projects for meaningful impact.

To learn more about Kindle Project and their innovative programs please visit www.kindleproject.org.