we aim to change philanthropy.

We are activists, social entrepreneurs, foundation staff, and philanthropists who work towards systemic change in philanthropy. Our goal is to contribute to a philanthropic sector that shares power to support systems transformation and does so in a radically transparent way.
We challenge the way wealth is created in the first place, as a crucial part of our systemic stance. We are convinced that much of philanthropy is a form of influence structurally based on the same power imbalances and modes of extraction that create the very problems that philanthropy claims to solve. But we also believe that resources, including resources created in the “wrong way”, should now contribute towards the solutions, while being explicitly open about the histories of this wealth. The Leap community is responsible for decision making around which funds and resources Leap will accept.

What is LEAP?

Vision

A world where economic and political systems are centred on ecological and social wellbeing care and repair. A world where philanthropy is no longer needed.

Mission

Leap is working to help traditional philanthropy become obsolete, and supports the rise of the practices and experiments that foster new systems.

Experiments

Experiments are Leap’s method of disruption and creation in philanthropy. We seek out important projects that need, but do not receive, funding, and help connect them with resources, people and institutions.

What's wrong with philanthropy?

Philanthropy works in silos to address the symptoms of systemic crises. Philanthropy programs rarely reflect the complexity of the interconnected crises we are facing. The focus on short-term success and projects with clearly defined outcomes prevents long-term investment in actors, ecosystems and processes that have the potential to contribute to systems transformation.

The systems set up by philanthropy often replicate the same extractive practices they intend to change. Philanthropy centralises power and reproduces societal injustices like racism and inequality. Decisions about funding are largely made by individuals or small groups of privileged people who are usually far removed from the realities that the funding will influence. Philanthropic actors do not trust their recipients to make decisions about where funding should go.

The philanthropic sector is more concerned with its reputation than with making its processes transparent. Foundations rarely report where their money goes, who makes the decisions, or what the origin of their wealth is. Accountability usually only is directed downwards to the recipients of funding

What does Leap work towards?

We focus on systems transformation. This means supporting actors and ecosystems - not projects - that are working to tackle the systemic root causes of social problems. It means unrestricted financial support without administrative hurdles. We select experiments that are addressing the root causes of extractive systems and structural injustice.

We share power through real participation. This means trusting in those doing the work to know what is needed, where and when. It means participation in strategic decisions of how funding is allocated. It means mutual feedback and trust to evolve all the organisations in the process.

We believe that authenticity, transparency and the willingness to take risks are more important than reputation management. For us, making mistakes and failing is a welcome, expected part of growing.  We make transparent where philanthropic money comes from and where it goes. 

Blog

Leap at the 2023 EDGE Conference

(By Hadiel Holail Mohamed) The 2023 EDGE Funders Conference took place in Berlin, Germany from October 18-20. EDGE Funders Alliance is a global community of 300+ donors, foundation officers, trustees and advisors with...

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What is the state of Leap in October 2023?

(By Martin Modlinger) To date, our Leap Ecosystem has brought forward a Climate Justice Experiment, a Decolonising Philanthropy Experiment, and is developing a Radical Care Experiment and a Migrant Justice Experiment. The reason...

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