What is a Justice Funder?

By Dana Kawaoka-ChenPosted under What is a Justice Funder?

As the director of a network of “justice funders,” I am often asked, “What is a Justice Funder?”  Since we are a relatively new network, I began to search for definitions of social justice philanthropy, and led an internal process for us to arrive at our own definition.

However, once I started sharing what we came up with, I soon realized that a definition is not necessarily helpful to most folks . . . the answer to the question, “What is a Justice Funder?” is far more nuanced and complex, and I soon realized, that maybe we (collectively) don’t know.


Even experienced leaders in the field, people who I think epitomize a “justice funder” have stumbled over their response to this question. Because there’s no school or training program for “justice funders,” and current research often offers yet another definition, we are dedicating this next year to hearing from both current practitioners in the field as well as those who engage with them to answer the question, “What is a Justice Funder?”

What do you think a Justice Funder is?