“Public or Private? The Empowered Choice”

This article in More than Money, discusses how the choices we make about being public or private donors depend on the intricate web of factors that define our own lives. For some, the “right” choice is to be blatantly “out”; for others, it is to be intensely private; for still others, it’s a middle ground – more open in some contexts, more private in others. The key is to choose in an empowered way-with deliberate and aware intention, so that other people’s opinions, your own fears and emotions, societal pressure, or circumstances beyond your control are not making your decisions Read more

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values

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“I’m not Rockefeller”: 33 High Net Worth Philanthropists Discuss Their Approach to Giving

This report describes findings from a study conducted by the Center for High Impact Philanthropy to determine how high net worth philanthropists are making their gift choices and the limitations they confront.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Grantmaking, Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation 

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Aligning Capital with Mission

In an effort to support the broader mission investing field, Aligning Capital with Mission offers, for the first time publicly, findings that highlight the strong alignment of the Social Investment Program’s impact with a Foundation’s mission and programmatic goals. The Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private foundation dedicated to improving the lives of America’s children and families, engaged InSight at Pacific Community Ventures — with research support from The Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke University — to conduct the first comprehensive third-party evaluation of its Social Investment Program, a $125 million allocation from its endowment dedicated to mission Read more

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Organization Learning and Evaluation 

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Bolder Giving Workbook

How do you figure out how much to give? Whether you wrestle with this question yourself or are helping other givers, the Bolder Giving Workbook offers unique perspectives and step-by-step guidance. Enjoy articles, exercises, and stories from amazing givers.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Grantmaking

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Expert Q & A: How can philanthropic organizations create a learning culture even while “leading under pressure?”

By: Dr. Lynn Perry Wooten, Associate Dean and Clinical Full Professor, University of Michigan Ross School of Business; co-author with Dr. Erika Hayes James, Leading Under Pressure: From Surviving to Thriving Before, During, and After a Crisis For the last decade my co-author, Erika James, and I have researched how organizations lead under pressure and especially in crisis situations. Although most organizations do not frequently confront crises, leading under pressure has become a new norm. Pressurized situations can be the result of budget constraints, time limitations, stakeholders’ demands, shortage of resources or employee strife.   From our research, we discovered that Read more

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Human Resources Management, Individual Professional Development , Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team, Ask an Expert

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Giving Toolkit: Give More

This worksheet will enable you to reflect on how much giving you could do personally, as well as influence in your lifetime. This includes the amount you might fundraise, plus the amount of giving others might do because of your influence.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Grantmaking

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Giving Toolkit: Inspire More

No matter how much money or how little money you personally have to give, you can increase your impact a thousand-fold by inspiring the giving of others. (Look at Bill Gates! Even he felt that his best contribution would be to encourage his peers to give, and so he started a 50% Giving Pledge for his fellow billionaires.) We’ll help you explore a variety of ways to inspire the giving of others.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values

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Giving Toolkit: Risk More

When we encourage givers to “risk more,” what we really mean is, “Let your giving become an adventure!” Does this appeal? If your giving often feels just routine, or burdensome, or anxiety-producing, perhaps you’d like to venture outside your habits and try something really different and better for yourself. Here are some ideas to get you started. This exercise invites you to step outside your current giving style.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values

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Interview – Theo Sowa, African Women’s Development Fund

‘We all have power, different types of power. When we don’t acknowledge that power, it’s easier for others to step all over us.’ As both grantmaker and fundraiser, the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) has been on both sides of the fence. As a result, Theo Sowa, AWDF CEO and chair of the African Grantmakers Network, has very clear views about the use and abuse of power. Caroline Hartnell asked her what power AWDF has and how it seeks to use it responsibly, and about the importance of African women setting their own agenda.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Grants Management

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Learning-Circle Partnerships and the Evaluation of a Boundary-Crossing Leadership Initiative in Health

Leadership development approaches that are focused on individual knowledge and skill development do not suit the leadership needs of low income communities and communities of color in addressing the multiple factors that influence health disparities. Boundary-crossing leadership is rooted in a social justice perspective and seeks to address the isolation and fragmentation faced by those who are working to address systemic inequities. A multicultural approach to evaluation honors different ways of knowing, recognizes that groups have different learning questions, acknowledges and addresses power dynamics that exist between funders and grantees, and ensures that evaluation is culturally relevant and constructive for Read more

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Models & Approaches, Standards, Codes, and Ethics

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Next Gen Philanthropy: Finding the Path Between Tradition and Innovation

Enjoyment and meaning in giving begin with individual motivations and values. People with wealth share the challenge all human beings face—how to find your own individual way, your own path toward meaning, while also maintaining a connection to family, community and history. You must stand on your own even as you stand in the great and ever-evolving succession of ancestors and descendants. Philanthropy starts with an inward journey—an exploratory mission into the heart and mind.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Foundation Management, Resources

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Philanthropy: Are We a Profession? Should We Be?

When philanthropy is assessed against seven standards for what constitutes a profession, it meets only 3 of them. Questions remain about the core concepts of the field, and how the field builds and disseminates knowledge. There is much discussion about “scientific philanthropy,” but the inability to answer these questions limits the field’s ability to function scientifically. Wisdom, rigor, and learning may be better approaches to philanthropy that a scientific approach.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Human Resources Management, Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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Philanthropy’s New Passing Gear: Mission-Related Investing. A Policy and Implementation Guide for Foundation Trustees

The goal of this guide is to provide foundation trustees and, where or when appropriate, staff with a process to create both an overall policy for mission-related investing as well as specific paths for implementation.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Legal Issues and Laws, Financial Stewardship

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Philanthropy’s New Passing Gear: Mission-Related Investing

It is not a surprise that we are seeing a growing interest among trustees and foundation leaders in mission-related investing (MRI). With over $600 billion in the endowments of U.S. private foundations, it is logical to consider how these funds can be put to use beyond generating income for grantmaking and begin to be a catalyst for social change via investments in market-driven entities. With this guide, Philanthropy’s New Passing Gear: Mission-Related Investing, plus other research that has been collected on MRI, there is now a strong body of work that can provide donors, trustees, staff of foundations, and the Read more

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Foundation Management, Resources

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Quick Experiments in Bolder Giving

Many donors have asked us for quick-and-easy ways to experiment with giving levels. In these two pages of the Bolder Giving Workbook, we share some of the giving experiments that creative givers have tried. We illustrate each option as though implemented by a fictional character: Julia Harlow, single, age 32, freelance software consultant with net earnings of $50,000 a year who also inherited $1.4 million from her grandparents. (Your financial situation may differ dramatically from hers, but some of the ideas for giving may still be useful.)

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values

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Story Library

In Bolder Giving’s story library, you can browse over 180 stories of extraordinary givers — people who have given at least 20%, and often 50% or even 90% of their income (for three years or more), assets, or business profits — and who embody our “risk more, inspire more” qualities. We are all influenced more by what is “normal” among our peers; without even noticing it, we judge what is possible by what we see around us. Browsing stories of Bold Givers opens our mind and heart to new possibilities. Who are you curious about? People similar to you? People Read more

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values

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The Best of the Humanistic and Technocratic: Why the Most Effective Work in Philanthropy Requires a Balance

As a more technocratic approach to philanthropy has emerged over the past 15 years, it has been seen as the opposite of humanistic philanthropy. Rather than a dichotomy, these approaches are on a continuum. The best tools from each approach can and should be brought to bear, including the wellthought out and disciplined strategies and results orientation of technocrats and the values base, intuition, responsiveness, and flexibility of the humanists. Staff and board leaders at foundations should articulate the humanistic-technocratic blend they desire, deliberately distill it into the organizational culture and everyday practices, and hire staff who possess multiple intelligences. Read more

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Models & Approaches

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The Giving Commitment: Knowing Your Motivation

Explores the ways through which donors can identify what motivates their philanthropy, and offers suggestions on creating or refining a meaningful giving strategy.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values

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The Trenton Afterschool Partnership: Expanding Learning Time Citywide Through Public/Private Collaboration

High quality after-school programs have been demonstrated to have significant impact on student performance. Preceding the Trenton Afterschool Partnership (TAP) was a hodgepodge of programs that cost various contributors about $9 million. These programs, of unequal quality, served about 1,500 students in 15 out of Trenton’s 21 public schools. TAP (which includes the Princeton Area Community Foundation) was able to successfully implement programs in all of the Trenton schools. Budget cuts have forced the reduction of the programs, but about half of the schools have been able to maintain programs. Foundations are encouraged to support advocacy capacity and to provide Read more

Categories: History, Role in Society, Mission, Vision and Values

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Toolkit for Giving

Ready to explore the many ways you can give to the communities and causes you care about? You’ve come to the right place. Check out our Toolkit for Giving and walk through your many giving options. In the Toolkit for Giving, Individual Donors Will Find: Questions to prompt reflection about the desire to give; Information on giving opportunities, from setting up a foundation, to participating in a giving circle, to creating a donor-advised fund and more; Links to other resources to inform your giving. You can also watch the “Philanthropy Is…” video. This popular, fast-paced video offers a realistic — Read more

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values

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