As the COVID-19 pandemic is drawing an end to this unprecedented time, I am left to wonder: Where can we go from here? With the challenges that existed pre-COVID-19, those that have been amplified during this time and still that persist, how can we be the change, make an impact?

I listened to the experts, Ambassador Shabazz and Tulaine Montgomery, on day three of the wonderful Women & Worth Summit: Actions Speak Louder Than Words to explore the field of impact philanthropy and how it’s advancing us toward a more connected society.


Impact philanthropy can be defined as the drive to make a difference among different communities joined together by a common cause (beyond the bucks) of making a meaningful impact on people. Ambassador Shabazz brings in 38-plus years serving communities across the globe to our Women & Worth conversation, drawing the connection between “the story…narratives…history and how that moves around to support [impact philanthropy].” The social aspect drives forward impact philanthropy beyond traditional philanthropy and “beyond money.”

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Montgomery, leading New Profit’s Inclusive Impact initiative to support and drive capital for Black, Latinx and Indigenous social impact leaders, addressed the connection between success and community; she powerfully stated, “We cannot define measures of success without the understanding of community.” Impact philanthropy is built on the “infrastructure” of community. By understanding the current framework of a certain community, we can better tailor resources towards enhancing the relationship between givers and receivers, as well as make a greater impact. Though this comes with a challenge, as Montgomery points out, “so much of the society is designed to separate.” Yet, even this encourages a hopeful solution.

In the drive towards making a difference in our communities, Ambassador Shabazz and Montgomery call us all to action. Montgomery reminding us along the way to “not underestimate the power of building meaningful, equitable, mutual relationships with people whose identity or experience is different from our own.”