A Foundation’s Theory of Philanthropy: What It Is, What It Provides, How to Do It

Sign up for a free account to save resources for later or login.

A theory of philanthropy articulates how and why a foundation will use its resources to achieve its mission and vision. The theory-of-philanthropy approach is designed to help foundations align their strategies, governance, operating and accountability procedures, and grantmaking profile and policies with their resources and mission. Some 30 elements that can feed into a comprehensive theory of philanthropy represent a customizable tool for exploring the issues foundations face. A foundation can use the tool to gather data and perspectives about specific aspects of its heritage and approach; what is learned in addressing the elements can then be synthesized into a succinct and coherent theory of philanthropy.




Go to Resource

Publication/Event Date:


Is your resource available to the public or only your members?:



Michael Quinn Patton, Nathaniel Foote, James Radner



Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation 

Leave a Reply