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. She has been the Director of IPI since 2016 and is currently also the Co-Executive Director at EDGE Funders Alliance. Arianne is also continuing to lead Flow Funding cohorts at Kindle Project where she previously served as the Program Director. Kindle Project was where IPI was formed and where Arianne got her start in this 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.
Arianne has a passion for facilitation and the transformations that arise when groups of people come together willing to shift themselves and the systems they work in. Outside of her work in philanthropy Arianne is a storyteller, performing stories about her life to audiences of all kinds.
Arianne received her MA in Peace Education from the United Nations University for Peace and completed an honors degree in Religious Studies at Concordia University. She is based in Toronto.
Hana ElSafoury – Consultant
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 and alumna of 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. She currently dedicates her time to Nature Conservation Egypt (NCE), a small nonprofit in Cairo where she works on environmental education and the conservation of the critically endangered Egyptian Vulture.
To understand Hana better, check out her thesis and personal blog.
Indie Philanthropy Steering Committee
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 is committed to being part of people being part of the solution. She embraces the non-linear and often chooses adventure over routine, is dedicated to expanding our ability to grapple with complexity and has a deep commitment to a better tomorrow. A facilitator, community builder, strategic storyteller and convener, her 15+ years in social justice and systems change non-profit work has required a robust and honest relationship with philanthropy and led her to IPI. Analytical and passionate, Biz began her career on the front lines of justice as a bilingual investigator for the Bronx Defenders. She 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, bring science to the masses, raise millions of dollars, and improve systems within organizations of all sizes. Biz worked with Digital Democracy, Alliance for Positive Change, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, the Refresh Radio Show and is now with EAT. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University, Coro Leadership New York, Rockwood Leadership Institute, the Thousand Currents Academy, New York University and StartingBloc. She lives in Oslo, Norway, loves to cook, needs to dance and always has a journal on hand.
Ginger Hintz grew up on the wide-open prairies of South Dakota. After moving to Ohio at the tender age of 20, she fully embraced a punk ethos 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. Ginger has over a decade of experience working in strategic philanthropic organizing and even more years in subversive rabble-rousing. She’s humbled to be on the board of Bitch Media.
Ginger is an independent scholar of poetics inquiries and an action philosopher on radical creative integrity. She looks for courage in complexity and currently lives in Oakland, California.
You can find her online at cacheculture.com
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 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.”
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.
IPI has been fortunate to receive the generous support from the following individuals and organizations. Thank you to our wonderful donors! We couldn’t do this work without you. Meet IPI’s Donors: Kindle Project Where IPI came from, and who we are still so fortunate to collaborate with as a grantee and partner. Laura Loescher Alissa Hauser Susan Schouela Sadaf Cameron James C Allen Charitable Foundation Jennifer Ladd Audrey Sasson Elizabeth Ghormley Liliane Aberman Liza Mauer Keely Badger Jessica Rucker Laurence MacSween Dianne Sasson Ginger Hintz Edouard Schouela Lynn Bessoudo Shilpa Jain Celia Alario Sam Vinal Tracy Gary Dev Aujla Alison Conant Sarah Frank Sheila Shouela Adam Lazarus Vanessa Sasson Wege Foundation