For over 15 years, MDC has worked through our Passing Gear Philanthropy program to address the deep, heavily racialized inequities riddled through our region’s communities by helping Southern foundations build the vision, will, and capacity required to effect change towards a more equitable and thriving society. The Passing Gear Philanthropy Institute was formed to support foundations through a cohort approach as they looked to align their capacity with their aspirations to change civic culture and reform the systems and policies that allow inequities to endure.
Our goal: Through successive cohorts of participants, we will equip 20 to 25 Southern foundations to become part of a network of strong Passing Gear practitioners by 2025. Each cohort will comprise four to five ambitious foundations that seek to deepen and build their individual and collective resolve to be courageous change- and equity-agents across community development, health, education, and economic mobility, while also scaling-up the impact of MDC’s Passing Gear practice.
Four foundations—two community foundations and two health-conversion foundations from North and South Carolina, Kentucky and Alabama—are participating in the first cohort that started work in January 2020. We will release additional information including the structure, application, and intended outcomes for the next Institute in the spring of 2021, with an expected launch to follow in the summer of 2021.