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Funder to close & redistribute assets after 60 years

Melanie May | 11 July 2023 | News

Bank notes fanned out

After 60 years as a grant-making foundation, Lankelly Chase has announced that it to redistribute its assets over the next five years and close, as it seeks to step away from the traditional philanthropy model.

In an announcement on its site. Lankelly Chase says that it has ‘recognised the gravity of the interlocking social, climate and economic global crises we are experiencing today. At the same time, we view the traditional philanthropy model as so entangled with Colonial Capitalism that it inevitably continues the harms of the past into the present.’

Acknowledging its role in this model, and in response, the foundation has chosen to ‘dismantle and close’, and to relinquish control of its assets ‘so that money can flow freely to those doing life-affirming social justice work’.

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The decision has been guided by the work of social justice leaders, which has shown it ‘that alternatives to traditional philanthropy are both possible and necessary’. The foundation will work with them to model and co-create resourcing infrastructures for social justice work.

£8mn of its capital (6% of the total) will go to the Baobab Foundation, and Lankelly Chase is now working out how to redistribute the remainder of its assets and resources. This process will be driven by 5 key aims:

  1. Promoting mutuality and collectivism.
  2. Enabling resources to flow with ease to communities doing social justice work.
  3. Investing capital in ways that are aligned with the visions and values of communities.
  4. Allowing a diversity of resourcing approaches to flourish that reflect the necessary diversity of life-affirming work.
  5. Supporting the deep embodiment of alternative ways of living, knowing and being in the world.

The foundation has said it will honour all existing grant agreements and contracts.

Its statement reads:

“We know not everyone will agree with this decision, and we are not saying every endowed foundation should follow our direction. However, we believe that the case for profound change is now impossible to ignore, and each of us must find our answer. This is ours.”

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