History

RESOURCE GENERATION TIMELINE


Resource Generation owes its existence and success to a long legacy of amazing organizations, organizers, activists, staff, board, leaders and allies. Here is a snapshot of some of the important events in our organizational history.

1995


A group of New England donors and activists plan a follow-up for the Next Generation conference. When the conference is canceled, they agree to keep meeting as a collaborative and develop local outreach to young people with wealth.

1996


The collaborative solidifies, made up of young people with wealth working in partnership with Boston Women’s Fund, Haymarket People’s Fund, Impact Project (soon to be renamed More Than Money), Peace Development Fund, United Black and Brown Fund, and more.

They decide to create a written resource to use for outreach. Research for “the packet” begins. Young donors Tracy Hewat and Lynne Gerber take on editing duties.

1997


The first edition of Money Talks, So Can We are printed, a resource guide full of interviews, articles, and advice for young people with wealth in their 20s. Inspired by the response to Money Talks, the collaborative transitions to a new non-profit organization called Comfort Zone, which focuses on outreach to young people with wealth. Tracy Hewat and Lynne Gerber begin recruiting for its first board.

 

 

1998


Staff & Base Growth: Comfort Zone’s new board begins meeting. 

Programmatic Highlights: YDONTWE (Young Donors Organizing Nationally to Transfer Wealth Equitably) meets for the first time, to create a network that supports the strategic growth of young donor-organizing projects.

1999


Staff & Base Growth: The first regional outreach gatherings are held. Tracy Hewat becomes Comfort Zone’s director.

Programmatic Highlights: Comfort Zone joins the Third Wave Foundation, the Tides Foundation and the Funding Exchange, to host the second ever  Making Money Make Change (MMMC) retreat for progressive people with wealth, ages 15-35.

2000


Staff & Base Growth: Regular gatherings begin in Boston and Western Massachusetts.

Hez Norton joins RG as Assistant Director. Comfort Zone officially changes its name to Resource Generation (RG) with an office in Cambridge.

2001


Staff & Base Growth: Monthly RG gatherings begin in the Bay Area and New York City as well. Tracy Hewat steps down, and Hez Norton becomes the new director. Sally Bubier joins RG as a part-time office manager. 

Programmatic Highlights: Alison Goldberg launches Foundations for Change, providing training and resources to young donors and family foundations interested in social change philanthropy. YDONTWE becomes The Young Donor-Organizing Alliance (YDOA), and RG takes on leadership for coordinating regular retreats and serving as fiscal sponsor. A pilot Donor Organizing Institute (DOI) is held as a pre-day event for the fourth MMMC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2002


Staff & Base Growth: Monthly gatherings are now in nine locations: Boston, New York, Western Massachusetts, Washington DC, Chicago, Seattle, Philadelphia, the Bay Area, and Southern California. Karen Pittelman joins the staff as the first Program Coordinator. 

Programmatic Highlights: Intergenerational workshops on family dynamics and giving held at philanthropy conferences and “Class and Activism” workshops, a cross-class workshop that examines issues of classism and privilege, held at college campuses.

2003


Staff & Base Growth: Foundations for Change and Resource Generation merge. Alison Goldberg becomes RG’s first Donor Education Coordinator. John Harrison joins the staff as Networking and MMMC coordinator.

Programmatic Highlights: A four day Donor Organizing Institute with workshops that focus on money and relationships, class privilege, giving plans, and social change financial planning. MMMC includes a Reflective Leadership pre-day training, helping to develop constituent leaders who lead small groups throughout the conference. And, the first Creating Change Through Family Philanthropy Conference (now Transforming  Philanthropy) for young people involved in their family foundations is held, undeterred by a giant snowstorm!

RG publishes two booklets, Protest and Privilege: Young People With Wealth Talk about Class  and Activism and Voices Carry: Young People With Wealth Talk about Silence, Guilt and Social Change, written by RG fellow Courtney Young, based on over 30 interviews.

2004


Staff & Base Growth: Monthly gatherings expand to Durham, North Carolina, and Portland, Oregon. Karen Pittelman leaves to work on an updated version of Money Talks, and Courtney Young becomes RG’s new program coordinator. Board and staff convene for an all-day anti-racism training session focusing on the RG constituency and future goals.

Programmatic Highlights: The second Donor Organizing Institute held.

 

2005


Staff & Base Growth: Hez Norton retires and Taij Moteelall becomes RG’s new Executive Director. Alison Goldberg leaves to work on an RG family philanthropy book, and Jamie Schweser becomes the new donor education coordinator.

Programmatic Highlights: The third Donor Organizing Institute and the second Creating Change Through Family Philanthropy Conference. RG helps develop and host the Momentum Conference, an intergenerational gathering for progressive donors, together with Tides Foundation and Threshold Foundation. YDOA transitions into the Dialogue Project run jointly by RG and Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP).

RG’s first book, Classified: How to Stop Hiding Your Privilege and Use it for Social Change, written by Karen Pittelman and illustrated by Molly Hein, is published by Soft Skull Press.

2006


Staff & Base Growth: Members form the Gulf South Allied Funders (GSAF). Partnering with the Twenty-First Century Foundation—the only explicitly Black foundation working in the region—to support their Hurricane Katrina Recovery Fund. Sally Bubier and Courtney Young leave RG, and the organization relocates to New York City. RG faces a funding crisis, and Taij Moteelall, Jamie Schweser and John Harrison are laid off. But a wave of donor organizing by constituents, staff and board allow the organization to stay afloat. RG moves to an office at in downtown New York City. Sam Stegeman takes on the role of coordinator for the CORE program.

Programmatic Highlights: The Catalyzing Our Resources for Equity (CORE) program is launched, seeking to expand RG’s constituency to include more young people of color with wealth and to promote racial equity within the field of philanthropy. The first Anti-Racist Grantmaking Workshops are held at conferences and retreats. The Dialogue Project’s first national retreat brings together young people with wealth, next-gen fundraisers and philanthropy professionals to talk about power dynamics, race, and class in philanthropy. The third Creating Change Through Family Philanthropy conference is held.

2007


Staff & Base Growth: Local programming expands to Minneapolis. Staff and constituents lead a 30–person delegation to the U.S. Social Forum in Atlanta, GA. Elspeth Gilmore takes over for Jamie as the new program coordinator. Alice Rich joins RG as our first communications and development coordinator.

Programmatic Highlights: RG celebrates its tenth annual MMMC retreat! RG helps found the Social Justice Philanthropy Collaborative together with the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, EPIP, Funding Exchange, Changemakers and the National Network of Grantmakers.

RG releases its second book, Creating Change Through Family Philanthropy: The Next Generation by Alison Goldberg and Karen Pittelman from Soft Skull Press.

2008


Staff & Base Growth: Mike Gast joins the RG staff as Family Philanthropy Coordinator..

Programmatic Highlights: The fourth Donor Organizing Institute is held. RG helps to plan a slate of Next Gen events together with EPIP and 21/64, and brings a 30-person delegation to the Council on Foundations Summit.

 

2009


Staff & Base Growth: Taij Moteelall retires and Rodney McKenzie, Jr. becomes the new director. Sam leaves and Nicole Lewis joins the staff as the new CORE coordinator and national organizer. Jessie Spector joins RG as a national organizer.

Programmatic Highlights: The fifth class of the Donor Organizing Institute graduates! The Dialogue Project’s second retreat meets to discuss strategies for transforming philanthropy for social change. 

2010


Staff & Base Growth: Praxis Groups begin: small, local groups of RG’ers meet monthly over the course of 5-6 months to support and challenge each other to work on their goals and action steps. Rodney McKenzie leaves his role as director, and Elspeth Gilmore and Mike Gast become RG’s new Co-Directors. 

Programmatic Highlights: The fourth Creating Change Through Family Philanthropy Conference. MMMC is held as a stand alone RG program for the first time.

 

2011


Staff & Base Growth: RG praxis groups partner on or help found 4 cross-class giving circles. RG’s work becomes more visable with Occupy and the We Stand with the 99% blog, which over 100 media outlets covered. Nitika Raj, the Director of National Organizing & Racial Justice, and Sarah Abbott, the Director of National Organizing, became part of the staff. 

Programmatic Highlights: MMMC had a waiting list for the first time, and RG held the fifth Creating Change through Family Philanthropy Retreat. RG officially launched its tax campaign and held Tax Day actions in 8 cities around the country; RG continues organizing around people of color with wealth, including the first praxis group for POCWW; and RG started the mission-related investing fellowship. 

2012


Staff & Base Growth: Members help form and do donor organizing for the Hummingbird Fund for Migrant and Border Justice. Members participated in a national day of action to stop “fiscal cliff” cuts to social programs and call for tax reform. RG became 86% community funded and membership grew from 153 to 224 people.

Programmatic Highlights: Making Money Make Change expands to 100+ people in attendance, with an active waiting list. The sixth Creating Change through Family Philanthropy is its largest yet with leaders across the class spectrum coming together to shift family funds and the field of philanthropy for social change.

2013


Staff & Base Growth: The first ever Alumni Retreat is organized in upstate New York. RG hosted its 15 year anniversary party, Moving Money, Shaking Things Up! Jessie Spector becomes the new ED. 

Programmatic Highlights: The first Transformative Leadership Institute is launched to focus on skill building within the base. RG launched the Tax Justice Platform, written by the National Tax Organizing Team (a group of six young people with wealth supported by staff member Isaac Lev Szmonko). This document lays out the roles that young people with wealth can play advocating for a more just tax system.

Nicole Lewis and RG published Between a Silver Spoon and the Struggle: Reflections on the Intersection of Racism and Class Privilege  which focuses on the experiences and opportunities for action of people of color with wealth.

2014


Staff & Base Growth: Big year for staff capacity growth! Colette Henderson hired as the first Membership and Communications Associate; Iimay Ho becomes Associate Director; Emil Paddison joins staff as a dedicated Chapter Organizer; Iris Brilliant comes on as Family Philanthropy Organizer to re-birth that program; Isaac Lev Szmonko leaves staff and is replaced by Kaitlin Gravitt who will become Campaign Director; Tiffany Brown expands her role to direct three annual retreats as RG’s Retreat Director

2015


Staff & Base Growth: Yahya Alazrak, Adam Roberts and Kirin Kanakkanatt join staff as full-time national chapter organizer with Yahya also being coordinator of People of Color programs. After 17 years of fiscal sponsorship (being housed in a larger “parent” organization) RG finally became an independent 501c3 (click here to read more about what this means). A huge victory for the efficiency of our operations work!

Programmatic Highlights: Re-launched a successful retreat for people with family giving vehicles, Transforming Family Philanthropy. We hosted a series of sessions with members to craft a 40-year campaign vision.

2016


Staff & Base Growth: Over 300 new members join RG following the election of Donald Trump. Faisal Alam joins as our Events and Operations Coordinator, Jes Kelley joins as Retreat Organizer and Maria M. as our first-ever Communications Director. 

Programmatic Highlights: Our second national Campaign Summit which brings together member leaders from multiple chapters to discuss and select our national issue banner of Valuing Labor for All. Writings, all member calls, and MMMC help us orient ourselves to the current political moment. 

2017


Staff & Base Growth: National Member Council forms. This council comprises Campaign, Resource Mobilization, and Base-Building and Leadership Development teams, all of which are made up of Staff, Board, and Constituent, and Advocate members. Ekundayo I. joins as Director of Chapter Organizing. We said goodbye to Jessie S., and Iimay H. was promoted to Executive Director, RG’s first-ever young person of color with access to wealth ED. Braeden L. became Associate Director after serving on the board for many years. 

Programmatic Highlights: We marched in Washington D.C. three times, once for the Women’s March and twice with the It Takes Roots coalition for the People’s Climate March. Member leaders and staff were arrested as a part of civil disobedience protesting the #Taxscam. Held three successful skill building regional retreats.

2018


Staff & Base Growth: Established formal partnerships with the Movement for Black Lives and the Center for Popular Democracy. National Member Council Resource Mobilization committee creates the original Redistribution Pledge and Redistribution Guidelines, and the National Member Council Base-Building Committee creates a leadership trajectory for member leaders. We welcomed Etta M. as Events Planner, Danielle W. as Director of Development, Frankie J. as our first-ever Southern Regional Organizer, and Katie W. as our first-ever West Coast Regional Organizer.

Programmatic Highlights: We conducted our Resource Survey for the third time and found that those who join RG increase their giving by an average of 16 times. The survey revealed that our praxis, Make Money Make Change (MMMC) conference, signing the Redistribution Pledge, and having a personal spiritual practice were the most significant supports to increase wealth redistribution. 

2019


Staff & Base Growth: After two years of experimentation, the National Member Council (NMC) dissolved itself, a group of members formed to lead the creation of a NMC 2.0. We welcomed Eddie A. as Operations Manager, Nora L. as High Net Wealth Organizer, Christina B. as our first ever Midwest Regional Organizer.

Programmatic Highlights: We launched our first-ever College Fellowship, which garnered activity on over a dozen campuses with three fellows leading the charge. The Transformative Leadership Institute returned for a three-day training, bringing together nearly 50 leaders from around the country. We launched RG Action as a 501c4. After a pilot launch the year before, we formally launched the Redistribution Pledge and Redistribution Guidelines, exceeding our goal to move $25 Million to movements.

2020


Staff & Base Growth: Constituents across the country get activated by the pandemic and the racial justice uprisings, there is a large increase in membership. We collectively move over $60 Million to movements. Representatives from our campaign partners, M4BL and CPD join the board. We welcomed Charlotte H. as Operations Associate, Nadav D. as New England Regional Organizer, Nicole F. as Mid-Atlantic Regional Organizer, Keithlee S. as our first ever College Organizer, and Falon S. as our first-ever Database and Digital Engagement Manager. 

Programmatic Highlights: Moving everything to be online and hosting more than 40 virtual events, including a series on land returns, an online praxis, virtual Transformative Leadership Institute and MMMC. We also launched the #ShareMyCheck campaign, which encouraged those who did not need government stimulus checks to redistribute them to communities, movements, and individuals most affected by the pandemic.

2021


Staff & Base Growth: The National Member Phoenix committee launched the National Member Council 2.0, bringing together representation from a majority of chapters. We set a goal to collectively commit $100 million to movements through the Redistribution Pledge. We experienced conflict and began a resolution process within the organization with the Member Led Movement for Accountability and Transparency. Iimay H. transitioned out of the Executive Director role and Yahya A. became E.D. We welcomed Amira A. as our new Southern Regional Organizer, Jeannie H. as our first ever Communications Manager, and Viva Y. as our first ever Finance Manager. 

Programmatic Highlights: Many webinars on topics ranging from the Transformative Investing Principles to campaigns like Defund Line 3 and Unmasking Fidelity. Host Transforming Philanthropy and MMMC virtually and run simultaneous High Net Wealth Praxis cohorts.

2022


Staff & Base Growth: Staff, Board, and National Member Council, we co-created a new Strategic Framework through a collaborative process. Members led a Fund Abortion Now campaign. We welcoming Eliza W. as the new Midwest Regional Organizer, Leah V. as Resource Mobilization Director, Julia W. as Membership Director, Valeriya E. as Membership Coordinator, Sahana M. as High Net Wealth Organizer, Megan M. as our first-ever HR Manager, and Emery K. as our first ever Local Power Organizer. We welcomed Jerrod M. as the first NMC Rep to the Board. 

Programmatic Highlights: Host nearly 40 virtual events such as MMMC for the third year in a row, an alumni reunion, media training, organizing school and climate justice giving circle with CPD. Expand the college fellowship program. Continue running multiracial and white anti-racist high net wealth praxis groups.

2023


We hired Julianne G. as Program Director after Jes transitioned off staff. Julianne led our return to a hugely successful in-person MMMC in Nashville, TN. We hosted and Organizing Summit over the summer to train up campaign leaders, launched a National Campaign Team, and started working towards a National Campaign to be launched in 2024. 

Tyler B. joined the Board as the second NMC rep.