Philanthropy Unbound founder Renée Joslyn has rolled out the Philanthropy 100 highlighting individuals, nonprofits, corporations and organizations making a difference in the world. Feeding America, Greta Thunberg, Angela Davis, LeBron James and Taraji P. Henson are among the 100 that are being recognized for their humanitarian efforts.
”In order to solve the problems before us, we will need innovative thinking and new approaches driven by entrepreneurial insight, creativity and altruistic concern for human welfare. The individuals and organizations on the list are leading the way,” Joslyn said.
For nearly two decades, Joslyn has been dedicated to philanthropy that advances justice and equity internationally. With Philanthropy Unbound, she advised corporations, families, foundations and individuals in the development of philanthropic projects and strategies including program design, landscape mapping and collaborative funding, among other endeavors.
Joslyn’s work experience included acting as the director of girls and women integrations at the Clinton Foundation. In that role, she specialized in empowering girls and women around the globe. Joslyn’s résumé also includes working as the senior director of foundation relations for the Ms. Foundation for Women. There, she lined up $3 million in funding from partner foundations and corporations for grantees addressing social and economic injustices facing women and girls.
Joslyn decided to start the list after noticing that so much great work was “not being celebrated as a collective,” she said. “We have a plethora of lists that celebrate wealth and tech innovation, but I could not find any that celebrated philanthropy — the love of humankind, which is our greatest asset.”
Joslyn continued, “I purposely created the list to include founders and those doing direct work to support others, as I believe it’s important to highlight that they are two sides of the same coin and we need both. Doing the work and funding the work are equally important.”
Before culling the list of 100, Joslyn asked her professional network for recommendations that were then researched. The plan is to make Philanthropy 100 an annual endeavor. There are four categories — foundations, corporations, nonprofits and individuals. The Global Fund for Women and the Women’s National Basketball Association made the cut.
Fashion-focused firms and individuals are also in the mix, like Rihanna, who started the Clara Lionel Foundation to help children receive a solid education and health care. The Fenty Beauty founder also has been the global ambassador to the Global Partnership for Education.
Two Blind Brothers, a clothing label that was created to help fund research to cure blindness, is also among this year’s 100. Brothers Bradford and Bryan Manning, who have a disease that causes blindness over time, started the company. Their efforts have helped to fund 30,678 hours of clinical studies through the Foundation Fighting Blindness, according to a spokeswoman for Philanthropy Unbound. While many identify MacKenzie Scott with her ex-husband Jeff Bezos, she has established herself as a philanthropic force. Last summer Scott, an activist and Amazon shareholder, donated $1.7 billion to 116 organizations that support such issues as racial justice, LGBTQ equality, climate change and global health. She has distinguished her giving by offering unrestricted contributions directly to programs and organizations that she previously had little or no tie to, the spokeswoman said.
There are also a few heavy-hitting brands like Nike, which has invested $417 million in the last five years to drive positive impact around the world. Etsy also qualified due partially for its efforts to lobby Congress to help sustain micro-businesses in the wake of the pandemic. The company has also pledged $1 million toward justice reform and Black-led institutions.
Other brands on the list of 100 are Warby Parker, which partners with nonprofits like VisionSpring to help donate eyeglasses to those in need, while Bombas was singled out for its giving model, which includes 3,000-plus giving partners and nearly 43.4 million items items having been donated.