Citywealth Leaders list 60 second spotlight

Date: 09 May 2023

Karen Jones

Heather Grady, Vice President and Practice Lead on Environment and Climate Change, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

Heather Grady

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors has a long history of understanding the unseen issues in philanthropy – the helicopter view of how to plan to ensure impact and not to veer off course. Heather who has spent her working life in the sector say she “helps families who need to clarify their giving strategy to prepare to leave a lasting legacy.”

Her work has been shaped in part by two decades living and working in countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, managing development and humanitarian programs focused on a range of themes including livelihoods, environment, agriculture, health and education, and gender equality.

With 105 staff and 22 in her department the last twelve months has seen her “Helping a group of funders scale up the Global Commons Alliance” which is a network of organisations working together to ensure that societies and the global economy thrive, sustained by healthy ‘global commons’ (high seas, airspace, outer space and cyberspace), on a stable planet. The Global Commons Alliance is a partnership of more than 60 of the world’s organisations in the fields of philanthropy, science, environment, business, cities and advocacy. It includes Arup and the WWF.

Heather has also been “doing an analysis of the democracy philanthropy landscape in the US” and they have published a report entitled ‘Democracy-Focused Philanthropy: Choosing Operating Models for Deeper Impact.’ The publication describes the many ways philanthropy can support efforts to build and preserve democracy, with a particular focus on addressing deep and persistent problems of racial injustice and inequity. They cite the  Candid’s Foundation Funding for U.S. Democracy data tool, which says democracy-related activities in the United States went from a total of $740 million in 2011 to $2.5 billion in 2020. She adds “I’m helping funders to think about equity issues in their giving.”

Stand out moments for her include “Launching the SDG Philanthropy Platform which is an online platform that helps optimize resources and efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The platform is led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and WINGS, and supported by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Ford Foundation, Brach Family Charitable Foundation, and UN Foundation. Another stand out moment was creating the Shifting Systems Initiative whose purpose is to host ‘thoughtful, honest, and intimate discussions amongst those committed to making change in the world.’ She says, “each one entailed a combination of convenings, research and funder network-building.”

Candid’s Foundation Funding for U.S. Democracy,-66.65297740055277,189.140625,76.10079606754579&gmOrgs=all&recipOrgs=all&tags=all&keywords=&pathwaysOrg=&pathwaysType=&acct=democracy&typesOfSupport=all&transactionTypes=all&amtRanges=all&minGrantAmt=0&maxGrantAmt=0&gmTypes=all&minAssetsAmt=0&maxAssetsAmt=0&minGivingAmt=0&maxGivingAmt=0&andOr=0&includeGov=1&custom=all&customArea=all&indicator=&dataSource=oecd&chartType=bars&multiSubject=1&listType=gm&windRoseAnd=undefined&zoom=0&1M817B7fSK

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