Search Member Login Accessibility Options

Mission and Strategy

Our Mission

The Disability & Philanthropy Forum mobilizes philanthropy to dismantle ableism by increasing funding for disability inclusion, rights, and justice; amplifying the leadership of disabled people in the philanthropic sector; and educating philanthropy to build a culture of inclusion.

Our Strategy

To advance our long-term goals, the Forum has set three strategies:

  1. building a learning ladder of programs and resources that help funders to increase disability inclusion and deepen their commitment to disability rights and justice;
  2. advocating for disability rights and justice within philanthropy while building systems of accountability to monitor progress; and
  3. sustaining peer networks at all levels in philanthropy — from program and support staff to CEOs.

For more insights into the Forum’s goals and approach, click to read a one-page summary of our strategic plan.

Our Values

  • Anti-ableism: Philanthropy must insist that disabled lives are lives worth living.
  • “Nothing About Us Without Us”: Philanthropy must honor this central disability rights and justice principle by centering the leadership of disabled people.
  • Shifting philanthropy to a social model: Rather than viewing disability as something to be fixed or pitied, the social model recognizes that society creates barriers to disabled people’s full participation. 
  • Intersectionality: Disability overlaps with all identities, and ableism is compounded by racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of oppression. 
  • Aspiring to disability rights and justice while taking meaningful incremental steps toward disability inclusion: We meet funders where they are, working with them to integrate a disability lens into their existing philanthropic priorities. 

Our Story

The Disability & Philanthropy Forum is a philanthropic network created in response to calls to action by the disability community to address gaps in disability representation and funding. In 2019, the Ford and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations convened a group of foundation CEOs, who in turn established the Forum, and at the same time began to move money and resources to disability communities through the Disability Inclusion Fund at Borealis Philanthropy. Now fiscally sponsored by the Proteus Fund, the Forum has evolved into a philanthropy-mobilizing organization to fill a void in the sector. With the Forum’s support, philanthropic leaders and staff are beginning to incorporate disability inclusion into their operations and grantmaking, and are transforming philanthropy through their collective commitment. We encourage you to join us in our vital efforts to achieve a more equitable, inclusive future for all.