How does one actually redistribute power through philanthropy?

How does one actually redistribute power through philanthropy?

By Rachel Gelman, Resource Generation member and Bay Area Chapter Leader

A few years ago, I suddenly found myself feeling utterly stuck. I had been participating in philanthropy with my family for many years, but the weight of this responsibility was starting to get heavy on my shoulders. I had begun to develop progressive politics and deeply wanted to contribute to social justice movements but I had no idea how to get involved. I felt the urgency of the struggles happening across the globe for justice and change but as a young, white, class-privileged person I did not know whether or not there was a role for me to play.

That’s when a dear friend pointed me to Resource Generation (RG). RG told me that there was a distinct role for me to play: to leverage my privilege, resources, and community to support movements for change. I couldn’t be more grateful for this timely intervention. It totally changed the course of my life.

As I started to get more and more involved with RG, I began to have even more questions. I felt clear that leveraging my resources meant not only redistributing my wealth but also redistributing power so that Continue reading »

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Now, more than ever, social justice movements need resources.

Now, more than ever, social justice movements need resources.


At Resource Generation, we organize young people with wealth and class privilege in the U.S. to become transformative leaders working towards the equitable distribution of wealth, land, and power. In the coming months and years ahead, social justice organizations across the country will be forced to work beyond capacity to build power and resist the worst of the Trump administration. Our work has never felt more relevant or urgent. Now, more than ever, social justice movements need resources.

With nearly 20 years of experience behind us, hundreds of current members in 15 chapters across the country, and a record increase in interest from young folks with wealth who want to take action, Resource Generation (RG) is in a powerful position to make an impact in this political moment. As a result of getting involved with RG, our members end up giving sixteen times as much money to social justice organizations as they were before they joined.

As part of  our Fall Fundraising campaign, we’re challenging our dues-paying members to match their gift to RG with an equal or larger gift to another social justice organization or project — we call this a ‘Movement Match.’

If you’re already an RG Continue reading »

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Talking to our families about the election

Fall landscape

This Thanksgiving weekend, we have the opportunity to ask people in our lives to join us on the path towards justice.

In these weeks after the election we are in a unique window of opportunity to engage new people in social movements. Across the country, there are people who are scared, dismayed, and angry, and who are asking “what can I do?”. Windows like this usually only last a matter of weeks. The time is now for conversations that invite our families into action.


Will you join other young people with wealth in engaging our family members over the weekend? Below are some tips on how to do so.


Check out this page from RG with topics that may come up in conversations with family (particularly middle-of-the-road or Liberal) about this election, and sample responses. Check out these other resources: Unsettling Thanksgiving: One More Way to Love my Family– by Jason Rodney, RG member SURJ Thanksgiving Toolkit: Calling in our Friends and Family– This kit is geared toward talking to white people, and has content and talking points that people of color with wealth may find useful as well. How To Talk About Privilege To Someone Continue reading »
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Reflections and openings

Dear RG community,

It’s hard to know what to say in a moment like this. We may be shaken, angry, numb, sad, activated, scared, and more. It may be hard to know what to do. We don’t have all the answers.

We only have what is alive in our hearts right now. We want to share our personal reflections with you in hopes that our stories resonate with threads of your own:

From Jessie Spector, Executive Director: As a white person with class privilege, Donald Trump came from my people. He is wealthy and he is white; white people voted him into office because he fed them lies and false promises, tapping into years of mounting economic anxiety and organizing millions of white people into thinking it is in their best interest to be racist and xenophobic. Today I am reckoning with the reality of the depth and the breadth of these lies and how much they’ve swept the nation. I am crying remembering that Trump’s people are my people, and my responsibility to organize toward an alternative option.

From Iimay Ho, Associate Director: I woke up this morning with a pit of anxiety in my stomach and a tension … Continue reading »

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Questioning the Self-Made Myth

Questioning the Self-Made Myth

Photo courtesy of the author.

My dad came from nothing, or so the story goes. He grew up on his family’s farm in the dry plains of western Nebraska, feeding the chickens each morning before walking to the one-room schoolhouse miles down the road. Eventually, he left home on a scholarship to study engineering at a regional university, where he landed a summer job working as a roughneck on an oil rig off the Louisiana coast.

With no connections and no inheritance, my dad relied on his innate intellect, hard work, and self-discipline to ascend the corporate pyramid to a series of executive jobs at large, Fortune 500 energy companies.


In this telling, my dad is a living case study of American meritocracy.

Most RG constituents have a tale like this somewhere in their family tree—the man (it’s almost always a man) who (1) started with nothing, (2) was smart and worked really hard, and (3) made some money (okay, a lot of money).

Something about this narrative always struck me as a little too tidy and self-serving, like a quaint Potemkin parable.

For one thing, it’s a calculus that equates money with virtue: 0 + smart/hard-working = money. … Continue reading »

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Partners of Young People with Wealth: North Carolina RG’s amazing, strong, fierce Partner Praxis Group

Partners of Young People with Wealth: North Carolina RG’s amazing, strong, fierce Partner Praxis Group

By: The North Carolina Partner Praxis Group

The North Carolina partner praxis group is a fierce, loving, and caring community. We are a group of Resource Generation members who are partners of young people with wealth. We come from poor, working, and middle class backgrounds and are currently in a cross-class relationship with someone with wealth. Many of us have found a sense of grounding in Resource Generation because of this unique branch of our chapter. We’ve been going strong for 4 years, and we think that’s kind of amazing.

Our first few gatherings were during chapter meetings, where we’d split up between partner and non-partner groups, and address any topics the chapter was discussing through the lens of being a partner. Eventually, our partner praxis evolved and started to shift in a more formal way when a few local partners emailed each other. Our idea was to gather in a completely separate environment than the chapter meetings, and be in the company of other folks who identified as not coming from a background of wealth or class privilege, yet who were dating, in a serious relationship with, or married to a young person with wealth. This was the start … Continue reading »

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“Why Give $ to Rich Kids?” My Experience FUNdraising for RG

“Why Give $ to Rich Kids?”  My Experience FUNdraising for RG

Hey RG!  I’m here today to talk about my experience fundraising members for RG – but first let me tell you a little bit about my own RG journey, because that’s really where the story begins.

I found RG almost four years ago, when I was a freshman in college at Stanford University.  I participated in one of the first praxis groups at Stanford, and before I knew it I was organized into chapter leadership and convinced to attend Making Money Make Change.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  But here I am, four years later, and RG has been a game-changing political home for me, a place of personal support, transformation and accountability, and a group that will always bring a smile to my face or a dance move to my body in the midst of important and complicated work.

Earlier this year I participated in Resource Generation’s Spring Appeal, an annual effort to recruit new dues-paying members to RG and encourage current members to renew.  My experience had some parallels to my entire RG journey – I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but four months later I’m so glad … Continue reading »

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Philly RG testifies for Affordable Housing

Philly RG testifies for Affordable Housing

In January 2016, RG Philly created a Political Action working group, to discern our role in and take action on local economic and racial justice campaigns. We went through a process of considering where we could have the most impact, and in March 2016 RG Philly joined the Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities. PCAC’s current campaign, Development without Displacement, is focused on adequately funding the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which will help keep long-term residents in their homes, working towards a vision of more community controlled neighborhoods.  

Since joining the campaign, RG members have shown up for actions at city hall, gathered signatures for PCAC’s petition to city council, and testified at the Office of Housing and Community Development’s and the City Council’s budget hearings. Testifying alongside of other coalition members has been a powerful experience of leveraging our privilege in ways that deepen relationships and clarify our work in PCAC and Philadelphia.  We’re excited about RG chapters joining political campaigns, so are offering our testimony here, and inviting others who are excited about cross-class coalitions, affordable housing, and land justice movements to connect with us.

Jessica Rosenberg Testifying at Office of Housing and Community Development, April 19th, 2016Continue reading »

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Cross-Class Giving in Philly with Bread & Roses

Cross-Class Giving in Philly with Bread & Roses

by Ben Goldstein

Photo courtesy Bread and Roses Giving Project

What does it mean to be accountable to a cross-class, cross-generational and multi-racial group raising money for grassroots organizing as a young white man with access to wealth? This is the question I asked myself when I joined the Bread & Roses Giving Project early this year. The Giving Project is a 6-month long undertaking dedicated to raising funds for racial and economic justice in the Philadelphia area. The Project involved twenty people, including a handful of RG-Philly members that participated as rich folks who are transparent about their access to wealth. Together we did the work of becoming what Bread & Roses calls donor-organizers: we participated in a weekend-long training on the racial wealth divide, fundraised our networks, made meaningful gifts of our own, and interviewed grantees to determine collectively where the funds we raised should go. Each step of the way was expertly facilitated by the Bread and Roses staff, which allowed participants with varying degrees of experience with social justice organizing to have honest conversations with one another, and with their friends and their families, about the need to fund organizations working for justice and systems change … Continue reading »

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RG Leadership Transition

Dear RG community,

It is with deep gratitude that we are announcing RG’s Executive Director, Jessie Spector, will be stepping down on January 31st 2017.

Over her eight years on staff, and four as ED, Jessie has been part of leading the RG community into tremendous growth and new domains on multiple levels. She helped usher RG into the era of organizing: establishing formal chapters, developing the Praxis Group model, taking on bold, public-facing campaign work, and centering racial justice in all that we do. She was part of the team to steward us into creating a membership structure, stabilized finances, and establishing organizational policy that aligns with our social justice values. Jessie has shared her own and the organization’s story to help grow a diverse cadre of young people with wealth and partners working towards RG’s mission.

We hold deep appreciation for all that Jessie has contributed to the organization, and look forward to partnering with her on a thoughtful transition process.

Jessie says, 
My tenure on RG staff has been one of the best aspects of my life. I feel blessed to be so deep in the RG community and to have been given the opportunity to lead … Continue reading »

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