Philanthropy continues to evolve and expand each day. As funder and nonprofit technology rapidly advances to further connect and enable change, so are new industries pushing increasing amounts of funds towards diverse causes across the globe. In fact, aspects of our society that previously rarely felt the positive effects of grantmaking are now experiencing the benefits for themselves.
Below are five pivotal industries being supported by grants. Some will certainly surprise you!
- Policing “Big Tech” with AI – Journalism focused nonprofits like ProPublica are using grants to adopt artificial intelligence technologies (like machine learning and chatbots) to better monitor and report on the algorithms impacting our everyday lives. That’s right, the tables have turned and Facebook and Amazon are being watched by grants. Grants influence our culture, technology, food, schools, and so much more. Is there a facet of our society (funded by grants) that you consider especially surprising but wasn’t included in this post? Let us know on Twitter! We’d love to hear from you.
- Food Safety – The Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) works with the FDA to provide grants to local health departments and other agencies so that those teams can provide up-to-date food safety training, education, and local food safety checks.So next time you see a food safety score posted on a restaurant door, know that it’s likely there thanks to grants supporting food safety inspectors!
- Renewable Energy for Under-Serviced Populations – Organizations like the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) distribute grants to strengthen markets for clean energy services in low and middle-income countries for the benefit of vulnerable populations. “The Private Financing Advisory Network, which REEEP hosts together with UNIDO, uses its Fluxx-based workflow management system, Climate Invest, to connect promising clean energy and climate adaptation entrepreneurs from developing countries all over the world with business coaches and, when they are ready, investors,” said Martin Hiller, Director General of REEEP. This is just one amazing way that grants affect our environment and sustainability practices. Work like this calls for a collective effort!
- New Management for Struggling Schools – Foundations like the DG Murray Trust help facilitate grants to poor quality schools in South Africa, helping to train and hire new management to improve the public education system. It’s philanthropy at its best, working from the inside out to effect lasting change, which results in ripple effects throughout societies. Improve schools and you now have better educated students who then stand to earn more and lift families (and ideally societies) out of poverty.
- Changing the Culture of Gender Justice – The Blue Shield of California Foundation provides grants to engage grassroots leaders, policymakers, and researchers from multiple sectors to help generate lasting solutions for health, domestic violence, and most recently, gender justice in the United States. The foundation just launched the first ever gender justice fund which aims to change how the public thinks about wide-ranging issues including economic security and income inequality, violence against women and sexual assault, maternal health, abortion contraception, and more.”