Cover art for podcast Unleashing Social Change

Unleashing Social Change

35 EpisodesProduced by Becky MargiottaWebsite

Each episode we interview a badass social change leader and learn the ins and outs of what they're doing to make the world a better place. This podcast will help you feel optimistic that we can make a difference and give you practical tips about how to go about doing so in a big way.


Episode 31: Katie Hong, “Re-Thinking Philanthropy”

In this episode, we sit down with Katie Hong for a candid conversation about money, power and identity. Having worked in philanthropy for over 15 years, Katie knows the sector can be a significant catalyst for social change. She reflects on how essential it is for those working on the grant-making side of things to face into their own relationship to power and money. Katie and Becky also discuss what people working in philanthropy can do to be most helpful to non-profits in these times. Listen in to learn how those working to give away other people’s money can more effectively show up and partner with others in advancing a more just and equitable world.


Katie Hong, Raikes Foundation, Director of Special Initiatives


Show Highlights:

  • Katie’s honest reflections on what she’s learned as a White House Fellow and working for the Gates and Raikes Foundations

  • What it’s like to have a job that is about giving away other people’s money

  • How being an immigrant and a woman of color has shaped her and her world-view

  • Challenging paternalistic assumptions that sometimes arise in her field 

  • Philanthropy as risk capital that can either help or harm

  • Getting over solution-itis and looking at what happens after

  • “We don’t have a knowledge problem, we have a power problem.”

  • The difference between positional power and personal power




Forbes article, “What is Power, Really?”



Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas

Just Giving: Why Philanthropy is Failing Democracy and How it Can Do Better by Rob Reich

Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance by Edgar Villanueva

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