Indie Philanthropy Staff
Arianne Shaffer – Co-Founder and Director
Indie Philanthropy matters to me because it’s high time that the field of philanthropy has a place to call home for all the impactful, change-making and evolving practices for funding that work for radical social change.
By day, Arianne spends her time working the wheels in creative philanthropy. When she is not reimagining funding as the Director of Indie Philanthropy, she works as the Communications Director at Kindle Project, where she got her start in the field in 2009. Her passion for philanthropy comes from a long line of justice-oriented work. From interfaith dialogue to documentary filmmaking, Arianne has spent her career bringing people together to create and build towards the vision of a more just world.By night, Arianne is a storyteller, performing stories about her life to audiences of all kinds. Arianne offers storytelling workshops to groups, companies, artists and activists and is the Board Chair for Raconteurs Storytelling.
Arianne received her MA in Peace Education from the United Nations University for Peace and completed an honours degree in Religious Studies at Concordia University. She is based in Toronto.
Hana ElSafoury – IPI Intern Extraordinaire
Indie Philanthropy matters to me because it is a space for reimagination. Philanthropy can reshape our world if it works to center the grassroots, subvert power relations, and acknowledge intersectionality. What would that look like?
Hana is a proud Egyptian currently studying at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Her curiosity about people around her and their stories led her to Anthropology. Nothing brings her more joy than overthinking and endlessly questioning the motivations behind the smallest of actions to place them in our common grand narrative. Hana is especially interested in stories that highlight the overarching system of oppression and the endless undercurrents of its resistance. IPI is a story of resistance she wants to document first hand. Most of her work so far has been with the growing animal rights movement. You can learn more about Hana and her passions on her blog: egyptiananimals.wordpress.com
Indie Philanthropy Steering Committee
Indie Philanthropy is important to me because it allows us to tap into a broader variety of ways to support people creating the world we want to live in. New approaches can help us create communities and projects that are connected, interesting, healthy, and just.
Jonathan helps art, community, and justice organizations build ease while raising more money. He’s worked with local, regional, and national organizations supporting amazing marches, monumental murals, local recitals, unique films, nourishing food, just policies and neighborhood health.
Jonathan served as executive director of the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, Capitol Hill Association of Merchants and Professionals, and Young Audiences of Northern California. He worked on the fund teams of the National Organization for Women, People’s Grocery, San Francisco and Marin Food Banks, Hack the Hood, The Estria Foundation / Mele Murals, and AIDS Services of Austin.
He serves a community advisor with People’s Kitchen Collective in Oakland, California and lives in Minneapolis where he focuses on family and community.
Indie Philanthropy matters to me because responsible philanthropy must stretch beyond the “way it’s always been done” to engage grantees as partners, center communities most affected in addressing injustices and take the risks we are uniquely poised to take. Many old methods for philanthropy have often contributed to the same injustices they seek to end or confront. IPI embraces our opportunity to change that!
Biz Ghormley brings over a decade of experience in non-profits, social justice and philanthropy to her role as Director of Operations and Member Services at EPIP. Analytical and passionate, she began her career on the front lines of justice as a bilingual investigator for the Bronx Defenders. Biz has since leveraged her skills building relationships and weaving story, strategy and data to co-lead national member networks, design and run events and campaigns centering the power and voice of marginalized communities, raise millions of dollars, and improve systems within organizations of all sizes. She has worked as a consultant and team member at a range of social service, legal and arts organizations. A former Starting Bloc Fellow and member of Coro Leadership New York, Biz holds a BA from Wesleyan University and a MS from NYU. She lives in Brooklyn, writes stories, co-hosts the Refresh radio show and loves to dance.
Ginger Hintz grew up on the prairies of South Dakota. After moving to Ohio at the tender age of 20, she embraced punk, community, and writing to fight for reproductive, racial, and gender justice. She has a BA in Environmental Policy and an MA in American Cultural Studies from Bowling Green State University. Manifesting west coast aspirations, Ginger moved with her partner and asthmatic cat to Seattle, WA where she learned about the curious workings of philanthropy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This and experiences with Resource Generation, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, and Social Justice Fund NW afforded the opportunity to talk about privilege and how those power dynamics influence social change strategies.
Ginger looks for courage in complexity and finds joy in co-creating an inclusive feminist agenda. Ginger currently lives in Oakland, California.
Indie Philanthropy matters to me because philanthropy at its core is about our love of humanity and working towards the welfare of all. Gifts are igniters of this love, making visible our interdependence and the dreams we can achieve together.
Vassag Hovsep joins the Indie Philanthropy team just as he is about to embark on a journey into grad school. Passionate about self and social transformation, his varied interests have lead him to studying for a degree in human systems intervention. His background in music and interest in UX design, coupled with his leadership in youth initiatives devoted to civil society and a sustainable future, landed him in Europe’s first Synergy Forum in Berlin, an international initiative dedicated to empowering the wave of awakening and collective action around the world. A member of the Presencing Institute community, Vassag recently hosted a Massive Open Online Course for MIT edX’s U.Lab, exploring mindfulness and leadership methodologies at Toronto’s Centre for Social Innovation.
Indie Philanthropy matters to me because I’ve long believed that the way we do our work is as important as what we do, and because the field of philanthropy can’t do the “same old same old” if it is to meet the challenges of today.
Indie Philanthropy Key Advisors and Consultants
Sadaf Cameron – Indie Philanthropy Initiative Co-Founder and Key Advisor
Indie Philanthropy matters to be because it’s subversive, rebellious, and makes the world of philanthropy a far more interesting place.
Sadaf spent her childhood and adolescence playing her hand at international spy training; scaling walls and jumping off buildings barefoot in valiant attempts to fly, rolling out of moving objects to perfect the art of fleeing without breaking bones, being invisible in daylight without an invisibility cloak, ambushing trespassers by sword and pick pocketing suburbanites by sleight of hand, bending spoons, and becoming well-versed in morse code and speaking in tongues.
Sadaf co-founded Kindle Project in 2008. She brings her espionage skills to her art, photography and leadership at Kindle Project.
Currently, Sadaf is Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research and is a member of the Yes Lab Advisory Committee. Sadaf has served as President to the Board of Directors for Skateistan, Environmental Justice Manager for Tewa Women United, and Public Education and Outreach Director at Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety.
A photographer and multimedia artist, Sadaf’s work has included documenting Afghan refugee camps and the survivors of the 1947 partition in both India and Pakistan. Sadaf’s work has been shown at Evo Gallery, The Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, The Mannheim Fotofestival in Berlin, and is a part of the permanent collection at Albuquerque Museum of Fine Arts.
Sadaf received her MA in Peace Education from the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica and her BFA in Photography from the College of Santa Fe.
Laura Loescher – Indie Philanthropy Initiative Co-Founder, Key Consultant
Indie Philanthropy is important to me because I believe that our survival is only possible if we move money out of exploitive and extractive activities and toward radically life-affirming purposes. Indie Philanthropy offers a plethora of creative and accessible approaches for doing this.
Laura is a leadership coach, philanthropic advisor and mentor to individuals and organizations who are devoting their lives and resources to inner and outer healing and transformation. For the last 25 years, she has worked on the radical edges of investing and philanthropy, supporting efforts to shift money away from extractive and exploitative activities, and toward life-enhancing purposes.
Laura co-founded and directed Aepoch Fund, a foundation whose mission was to support artists, healers, activists and movements engaged in transforming ecological, cultural, economic, and social conditions so that all people and the planet can thrive. Prior to that, she co-founded Changemakers, a foundation practicing and promoting community-based philanthropy and organizing donors to direct their giving to social change.
Laura has designed and facilitated trainings, workshops, and curricula related to leadership development, philanthropy and social change for communities around the country. Her work in philanthropy was preceded by several years of immersion in the field of social investing. She served both as a researcher on corporate social responsibility (mostly irresponsibility) and an educator in the realm of investing. Her current role in the investment world is to offer information and encouragement to her clients who want to direct investment capital toward enterprises that support social equity, ecological resilience and community wealth, or what is called “Indie Investing.”