This toolkit compiles seven modules that cover topics of social justice and philanthropy for next generation leaders. Educators in nonprofit organizations or academia, foundation staff, giving circles and young philanthropists can use this content to facilitate personal development, build knowledge and develop their philanthropic practice. The final section of this toolkit includes recommendations for Capstone Projects that will allow participants to turn their learning about social justice philanthropy into action.


  • A comprehensive curriculum that unfolds sequentially and moves from module one
    through module seven.
  • A “choose your own adventure” guide, selecting modules (or individual resources and
    activities) that are most relevant or interesting to you.
  • As a compilation of resources you can use to advance your knowledge of social justice
    issues and/or philanthropy.
  • A catalyst for your own thinking, iteration, and design of ways to teach and learn about
    topics connected to youth grantmaking.

We’ve compiled some of the best resources on social justice, philanthropy and social justice philanthropy that resonate most with next generation philanthropists. This includes a diverse offering of articles, texts, multimedia materials, and activities woven together to engage participants. Following these modules sequentially simulates the year-long program for next generation philanthropists we designed for the Andrus Family Fund.

Whether you choose to follow each module in sequence or “à la carte,” we recommend starting with modules one and two as they present foundational knowledge on both social justice and philanthropy.

Throughout the curriculum, you will find case studies, which are fictional scenarios that animate how social justice themes may arise in the daily work of philanthropy. These case studies are designed to help participants make critical connections between the social justice material and the philanthropy material contained in this curriculum. For modules that include a case study, we’ve included guiding questions that are designed to help participants reflect on the myriad ways they can position social justice values to guide their engagement in philanthropy.

When exploring social justice issues, and asking participants to reflect on their own identities, creating a safe space to have these conversations will allow everyone to share openly, ask honest questions, and engage in meaningful dialogue.

We created this toolkit with a set of working assumptions that inform our concept of social
justice philanthropy:

  • Power and privilege are distributed on an unequal basis.
  • People have prejudices, but not all people can enforce their attitudes through institutions
    and systems of power.
  • People have various levels of access to healthcare, education, employment, recreation, law
    enforcement, the judicial system, and other benefits in our society. These levels of access
    are influenced by race, gender, age, class, sexual orientation, ability, and other social identities.
  • Intent does not always equal impact.
  • Because individual attitudes shape institutions, we have the power and shared responsibility to change them.

These assumptions inform all aspects of the toolkit, and underlie dynamics both on a committee of youth grantmakers and in the communities they are trying to serve. It is our point of view that philanthropy should not be separated from social justice, and these assumptions are necessary to engaging in meaningful dialogue.

We hope you find this toolkit helpful in the great work you’re doing.

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