Greater Good Blog

Why Arabella, Why Now

Andrew Plumley
Why Arabella, Why Now

I joined the team at Arabella Advisors because I wanted to do more to help changemakers working to build a more equitable and just society. Over the past two years, the pace of change had seemingly increased exponentially. But too often it was change in the wrong direction. Every time I looked at my phone or turned on the TV, there was another horrific example of how our society was moving backward rather than forward. Still, despite a flood of negative stories and personal feelings of grief and sadness, I also saw that there were many amazing individuals, leaders, communities, and movements working every day to advance a better, more equitable and just, future.

Fast forward to today. Those leaders, communities, and movements are still here, working even harder to build a better future. What I didn’t know then and do know now is how many of these leaders, and how much of their critical work, is supported in some way, shape, or form by my new colleagues at Arabella Advisors.

I’m truly honored to step in as Arabella’s first Black executive, and I’m excited for the opportunity to bring my lived experience, perspective, expertise, and leadership style to an ever-changing, ever-growing company and the work we do. As you’d expect, there are myriad reasons I decided to join Arabella at this moment. Given the complexities of the many challenges we face in America and beyond, the Arabella team sits at a critical inflection point for helping to advance systems-level change.

We are a professional client-service organization that is filled with world-class, creative, and dynamic problem solvers all focused on driving and sustaining impact. We support philanthropic entities, both large and small, that are striving to deploy capital to achieve equitable and sustainable impact—not always successfully, and never perfectly, but with a clear focus on doing more good and doing it better. We also provide critical operational support to a group of nonprofit fiscal sponsors that house hundreds of high-impact nonprofit projects doing some of the most critical work in the country on racial equity and justice, climate change, gun violence, reproductive rights, and more. Lastly, we’re a certified B Corporation, which means that, as a company, we meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability. Simply put, we balance purpose and profit, and we do it in the name of building a more just, equitable, and sustainable world.

Admittedly, that’s a lot of complexity, and a lot of responsibility, for one organization to hold—and that complexity brings with it inherent tensions and competing priorities. Still, as an equity practitioner, I couldn’t ask for a better place to learn, test ideas and approaches, and iterate—it’s what drives me every day to get up and do better.

Without question, Arabella Advisors has much work to do when it comes to our own DEI journey, but I’m fortunate to be able to build on a strong foundation of internal work and aligned commitment. My hope is that as we continue to learn, grow, and build our internal capacity, we will continue to better understand how we can harness our unique role within the broader philanthropic ecosystem to drive and sustain DEI externally with our partners and clients.

In the months to come, I’ll be sharing periodic updates of our own DEI journey, and I’m committed to sharing both the successes and challenges of our work. I’m excited to double down on what has worked for us in the past, design or re-design structures that will support our work moving forward, and ultimately define and chart a path for our organization and my shifting role within it. I look forward to hearing from you all as well, as we all undertake the journey toward a better future together—with all the work that will necessarily entail but also all the possibilities it opens up. If you have ideas to share about this journey, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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