#ShiftThePower: the rise of community philanthropy

In this special feature on community philanthropy, Alliance proposes a new paradigm called ‘durable development’. This involves shifting power closer to the ground, giving agency to local people and their organizations on the principle that they should have greater control of their own destinies. The growing field of community philanthropy has much to contribute towards such a paradigm shift because it marks a distinct break with many of the conventions – and resulting distortions – of mainstream development. The ‘three-legged stool’ of community philanthropy combines asset development, capacity building and the strengthening of trust between multiple local and external stakeholders. Durable Read more

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11 Philanthropic Trends for 2017

To help explore and understand the trends and challenges that inform our work, we are providing brief descriptions of trends we see as both forming and challenging the work of philanthropy.

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1st Annual Report on America’s Giving Style

A collaborative study from Bolder Giving and WiserGiving, America’s Giving Style analyzes the strategies and approaches that donors use to solve complex problems through their charitable giving.  

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Alliance Magazine – #ShiftThePower: the rise of community philanthropy

Guest editors of the December 2016 issue of Alliance magazine Jenny Hodgson and Barry Knight explore the issues of community philanthropy, durable development, and the collective sharing of resources.   In this special feature on community philanthropy, we propose a new paradigm called ‘durable development’. This involves shifting power closer to the ground, giving agency to local people and their organizations on the principle that they should have greater control of their own destinies. The growing field of community philanthropy has much to contribute towards such a paradigm shift because it marks a distinct break with many of the conventions Read more

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Global ‘next gen’ trends

This Alliance special feature explores the dynamics of ‘next gen’ philanthropy globally with Jason Franklin, guest editor.  

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I’m Not Rockefeller: Implications for Major Foundations Seeking to Engage Ultra- High-Net-Worth Donors

This article describes how a group of 33 ultrahigh- net-worth philanthropists (UHNWPs) approach their giving. They describe their giving priorities, their most trusted sources of information, and partnerships.  

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Influences of Venture Philanthropy on Nonprofits’ Funding: The Current State of Practices, Challenges, and Lessons

This article looks at the current state of venture philanthropy practices in the nonprofit sector, based on data from a survey of 124 nonprofits that engage in venture philanthropy. The survey probes to what degree nonprofit funders are implementing core activities of venture philanthropy – use of market-based funding instruments, providing strategic assistance, board participation, and use of social and financial performance criteria.  

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International Giving by U.S. Community Foundations: Local Communities with Global Reach

This report, a joint effort by the Council on Foundations and Foundation Center, examines the current state and recent trends in international giving and engagement by large U.S. community foundations. The first-ever analysis of this type suggests that many community foundations are beginning to adopt a broader, more nuanced definition of “community” than they have in the past.

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Interview with Carol Civita, Brazilian philanthropist

A disposition to give is not the same as a culture of philanthropy, argues Brazilian philanthropist Carol Civita. Brazil has always had the one but still lacks the other, she tells Caroline Hartnell. Part of the problem is that Brazilians see social problems as the government’s business, but in her view the country needs partnerships between the public sector and private philanthropy if social development is to catch up with economic development. But foundations are beginning to talk to each other, she says, a big step forward.

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Is Grantmaking Getting Smarter?

Through our research over the past 20 years, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations has identified a set of grantmaker practices that help nonprofits achieve better results. Every three years, GEO conducts a study to help us understand how we are doing as a field, including trends over time as well as new areas of inquiry. Our understanding of what it means to be a smarter grantmaker continues to evolve. In each version of the study, we ask new questions. Because a clear link exists between foundation culture and foundation practice, we took a closer look at the behaviors and habits that Read more

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March 2017 issue | Philanthropy scholarship and practice – bridging the divide

Be sure to keep an eye out for the March issue of Alliance magazine as it looks at the ways in which we can bridge the gap between philanthropy scholarship and practice. As philanthropic studies gain speed and popularity in universities and academic programs around the world, we attempt to explain why studying philanthropy is important and how much priority should be given to informing policy and practice. Guest edited by Marta Rey-Garcia of Spain’s Coruna University, the issue answers some of the key questions that arise when philanthropy scholarship moves into practice and provides a detailed account of philanthropy’s growing Read more

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Moving Philanthropy from the Margins to the Center

Moving philanthropy from the margins to the center of scholarly inquiry permits a task at the heart of any inquiry about democracy: understanding the complex division between what is public and what is private, tracing the evolution of that division over time, identifying the public dimensions of private wealth and power, and recognizing when private action supports or, alternatively, threatens the public interest.  

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New horizons

Filiz Bikmen writes about emerging economies and philanthropy: The economic boom of BRICS and MINT countries coupled with the unequal distribution of this growth presents new opportunities and challenges for philanthropy in emerging markets. Among them are different approaches to giving, lukewarm relationships with civil society organizations (CSOs), hesitation about funding ‘unpopular’ issues and the arduous task of building the field of philanthropy. In light of the observations of contributors to this issue, which trends appear to be affecting philanthropic ecosystems in emerging market countries, and what lies ahead?

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Next Gen Donors Report

This first-of-its-kind research examines the next generation of major donors and studies this crucial group directly, rather than summarizing what others think about them. This project is a partnership of The Frey Chair for Family Philanthropy at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy, and 21/64, a nonprofit consulting practice specializing in next gen and multigenerational strategic philanthropy.

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Philanthropy and the Renewal of Democracy

In the Fall 2016 edition of this monograph, Daniel Kemmis explores the sometimes-fraught relationship between philanthropy and democracy. Beginning with a wide-ranging stroll through the shared history of philanthropy and democracy, Kemmis examines the current post-Citizens United landscape and asks whether philanthropy can and should do more to strengthen the infrastructure and practices of democracy.

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Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2017

This publication is an annual industry forecast about the ways we use private resources for public benefit. Each year, the Blueprint provides an overview of the current landscape, points to major trends, and directs your attention to horizons where you can expect some important breakthroughs in the coming year.

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Philanthropy: Are We a Profession? Should We Be?

This article argues that philanthropy is not a profession, and it should not become one. We should be rigorous. We should learn from our work. We should help our partners and be helped by them. But a wisdom- focused approach may produce better results than a science-based one.

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Shifting Winds: Foundations Respond to a New Political Context

CEP surveyed foundation leaders about their reactions to the shift in presidential administrations, and the degree to which they were making changes as a result. The report reveals that the reactions and responses of U.S. foundations to the shift in national political context vary widely, but most foundations are changing their practices or shifting their emphases.

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Should we be afraid?

At the end of last October, David Callahan, editor of the Inside Philanthropy blog, posted his five ‘scariest’ trends in philanthropy. Callahan’s ‘trends’ all relate to philanthropy in the US. Are these specifically US trends, we wondered, or are they happening more widely? In either event, how scary are they? We asked a number of observers from around the world – from India, Mexico, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa and the UK – for their reactions. In spite of Callahan’s injunction to ‘be afraid’, few of them seem inclined to quake in their boots, even where they see similar tendencies Read more

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The Family Difference? Exploring the Congruence in Grant Distribution Patterns Between Family and Independent Foundations

Using a broad group of family and independent foundations from a representative sample of Georgia foundations, in this article the authors examined differences in giving patterns between family and independent foundations. These findings are relevant for discussions about the role of non-family members on boards.

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The Future of Family Philanthropy – Predicting and Preparing

Based on the candid peer conversations and insights from thought leaders that were offered during two “National Summits” on family philanthropy, this brief envisions the changes in the field, and suggests ways to adapt family giving for a better future– a future of new families, new generations, new kinds of relationships, and new methods for creating change.

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The Future of Foundation Philanthropy: The CEO Perspective

Based on the perspectives of more than 200 foundation CEOs collected through in-depth interviews and responses to a survey from May to June of 2016, this report captures foundation leaders’ views on challenges and concerns about the changing landscape in which they work, practices they believe to hold the most promise for helping foundations reach their potential, and the most pressing issues that will influence foundation philanthropy in the coming years.

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The Future of Jewish Giving

Based on new analysis of data collected for the Next Gen Donors: Respecting Legacy, Revolutionizing Philanthropy report, this report examines the ways in which these high-capacity, Jewish next gen donors think about and experience philanthropy.

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The Power to Produce Wonders: First Ever Report to Examine the Value of Family Participation in Philanthropy

Based on two years of research, this report is the first ever in-depth examination of the value of family philanthropy to the family, to communities and to democracy.

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Trends in Global Philanthropy Among U.S. Foundations

A brief review of data and issues. In this article, the authors present the data on international grantmaking by foundations in the United States, discuss the factors likely influencing the change, and identify some of the issues inherent in international grantmaking – issues largely ignored despite the dramatic increases in funding.

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What influence does philanthropy exert?

There are increasing signs of philanthropy influencing policy and policy networks but, as yet, no overarching theory of how it does so. Philanthropic traditions vary, as do the political, social and economic contexts in which foundations operate. Influence can be exerted in different ways – not only through the ‘hard power’ of financial resources but also through the influence wielded behind the scenes and out of public view. It can be exerted by empowering others or funding research. Influence over public policy is only one type of influence, but it is particularly important to debates about the role of private Read more

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What’s Next for Community Philanthropy?

This essay serves as the centerpiece of the What’s Next for Community Philanthropy initiative. We have produced a suite of short essays, tools, exercises, and provocations aimed at helping community foundations and other community philanthropy organizations begin to challenge old assumptions, understand the full menu of options that are available to them, and generate new thinking so that they can make smart, forward-looking choices about their strategies and approaches for the future.

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Why funding research is not enough

Over ten years, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) has run more than 350 studies in 51 countries to find what works in alleviating poverty. They have had some success in influencing policies of governments, NGOs, foundations and others. Here’s what they have found.

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Youth Advisory Council Databook

With the largest survey sample in our history of the YAC Data Book, this year’s insights set the context of youth philanthropy in the state of Michigan.

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