“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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Catalyzing Networks for Social Change: A Funder’s Guide

GEO and Monitor Institute partnered to release Catalyzing Networks for Social Change, to explore what it takes for grantmakers to cultivate a network mindset, offer recommendations for how funders can effectively build the capacity of networks and identify five network approaches that are helping grantmakers and social change makers to harness the power of networks.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Grantmaking, Models & Approaches

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Collective Impact Forum

The Collective Impact Forum exists to support the efforts of those who are practicing collective impact in the field. While the rewards of collective impact can be great, the work is often demanding. Those who practice it must keep themselves and their teams motivated and moving forward. The Collective Impact Forum is the place to find the tools and training that can help achieve success. It’s an expanding network of like-minded individuals coming together from across sectors to share useful experience and knowledge and thereby accelerating the effectiveness, and further adoption, of the collective impact approach as a whole.

Categories: History, Role in Society, Mission, Vision and Values, Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Models & Approaches, Standards, Codes, and Ethics

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Creative Giving

A comprehensive look at giving. Who gives, how much, where to, and why. Sprinkled with statistics and analysis, powerful individual stories describe giving outside the lines. Writers talk about giving money unconventionally, seeking ways to give, and seeking gift recipients by their own rules, not according to established giving norms. Some giving alleviates the loneliness often endemic to inheritors. Others seek to share the joy in giving. Models for giving beyond that which supports culture, arts, education and policy institutions that serve the donors lifestyle. Compare your giving habits: amounts, causes, mechanisms, and goals.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Grantmaking, Laws and Legal Issues, Models & Approaches, Beyond the Grant 

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Dimensions of Change: A Model for Community Change Efforts

The Dimension of Change Model (DOCM), developed by the authors, is offered as a potentially useful tool for foundations, government, bodies, consultants, coalitions, and even individual organizations that are initiating or engaged in substantive efforts to bring about community change. The dimensions contained in the model – structure, parameters, intention, approach, and people – offer a frame for addressing key aspects that emerge from the literature as fundamental to all change efforts. The model is offered as a way to design, implement, adapt, and evaluate change initiatives. The work of First 5 Marin Children and Families Commission in Marin County Read more

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Models & Approaches

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Donor Profile: The Hilton Foundation Sees a Need — and Finds a Partner

According to Steven Rothstein, president of the Perkins School for the Blind, if it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a “big village” to raise a child with disabilities. It also takes a donor with a special kind of focus, patience, and willingness to learn.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Grantmaking, Issue Specific Grantmaking, Beyond the Grant 

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Donor Profile: The Lynch Foundation and Teach For America: How Philanthropy Can Help Ideas Become Reality

Peter and Carolyn Lynch take a portfolio approach to their philanthropy, and Teach For America is just one example of how they’re returning outsized impact for their investment dollars.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Grantmaking, Issue Specific Grantmaking, Program Level Learning and Evaluation, Beyond the Grant 

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Donor Profile: The Sandlers and ProPublica: Muckraker for the 21st Century

What is the best way to tackle corruption? With ProPublica, the Sandler Foundation has revived a time-tested tactic that is proving as effective as ever.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Issue Specific Grantmaking, Beyond the Grant 

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Donor Profile: Pam Omidyar and the Science of Giving

Pam Omidyar’s philanthropic work—including founding or co-founding with her husband, Pierre, the Omidyar Network, Hope Lab, and Humanity United—demonstrates how she has translated her passions into social change. Includes: International philanthropy, Microfinance, Medical philanthropy.

Categories: History, Role in Society, Mission, Vision and Values, Grantmaking, Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Models & Approaches, Issue Specific Grantmaking, Program Level Learning and Evaluation, Beyond the Grant , Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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Donor Profile: The Buffetts Find “The Sound”

What would you do with one billion dollars? Jennifer and Peter Buffett were faced with this extraordinary challenge and opportunity.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Grantmaking, Models & Approaches, Issue Specific Grantmaking, Beyond the Grant 

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Effective Giving

It takes time and experience to learn how to give effectively, but the journey can be fun and rewarding. In this issue, people with surplus income talk about what they’ve learned about giving–what’s satisfying, what’s hard, what makes giving most effective. You’ll hear from “ordinary people,” as well as well known philanthropists. From Steve Kirsch, large-scale venture capitalist with his own multi-million dollar foundation, to Wayne Muller, who advocates giving small and simply on a local scale, this issue invites you to explore the range of available options –and find out what giving effectively means you.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Grantmaking, Program Level Learning and Evaluation, Beyond the Grant 

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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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Foundations of Philanthropy for Funders

In the United States, virtually everyone is asked to be charitable, but not everyone knows how to be philanthropic. Whether you work for a grantmaking foundation or you are personally committed to charitable giving, this course explores American philanthropy, the role of the funder, current best practices and ethical standards, the public’s relationship to nonprofit organizations, and the nature of grantmaking. Utilizing both theoretical and case-study methods, this interactive class provides the basis for subsequent coursework toward the Certificate in Grantmaking and Foundations. CEU: 1.5

Categories: History, Role in Society, Mission, Vision and Values, In-Person Workshop, Standards, Codes, and Ethics

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Give Smart Content Library

Getting real, lasting results from your philanthropic giving requires planning, strategy, realism and partnership. Whether you’re new to philanthropy or farther along, the materials in the Give Smart library can help guide you in your philanthropic journey.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Grantmaking, Models & Approaches, Organization Learning and Evaluation , Program Level Learning and Evaluation, Beyond the Grant 

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Give Smart: Philanthropy that Gets Results

In Give Smart, Thomas J. Tierney pools his hands-on knowledge with philanthropy expert Joel L. Fleishman to create a much-needed primer for philanthropists and the nonprofit organizations they support. Drawing from personal experiences, testimonials, and Bridgespan’s case studies, including those of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Give Smart picks up where Jim Collins’ Good to Great and the Social Sectors left off and presents the first in-depth, expert guide for engaged donors and nonprofit leaders.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Organization Learning and Evaluation , Beyond the Grant 

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Giving Toolkit: Give More/How Much Could You Give During Your Lifetime?

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: Give More/Pilar Gonzales’s Story

Donor Pilar Gonzales describes why giving as much as 25-50% of her income is important to her, and why it matters – how her giving is very deeply tied to political activism and family identity.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values

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Giving Toolkit: Give More/Quick Experiments in Bolder Giving

Many donors have asked us for quick-and-easy ways to experiment with giving levels. Although we advise people to systematically consider their current and future financial needs, we know that not everyone will make time for such a thorough process. Here, then, 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 Read more

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values

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Giving Toolkit: Inspire More/Explore a variety of ways to inspire the giving of others

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: Talk about giving with people you know Give openly rather than privately Learn to fundraise Share your giving story Be a public promoter of giving

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values

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Giving Toolkit: Inspire More/Public or Private? The Empowered Choice

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 for you. So how do you, personally, decide? Read more

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values

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Giving Toolkit: Risk More/Kevin and Hannah Salwen’s Story

Kevin and Hannah Salwen share their story – why they sold their dream house and moved “to a home half the size, giving the price difference, more than $800,000, to charity. Half for us, half to try to make the world a little better.” Read why they think everyone can find something in their lives they have more than enough of, whether it’s time or treasure. Just gather your family or community, figure out your half and go for it.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values

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Giving Toolkit: Risk More/Transform your giving into an adventure

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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Lessons from the Field: From Understanding to Impact

Three foundations — the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, the Energy Foundation, and the Wilburforce Foundation — seek to make an impact on some of the most complicated challenges we face: civil rights, renewable energy sources, and wildlife protection. MORE This case study provides an in-depth look at how these foundations cultivate an understanding of their fields and then turn that understanding into more effective grantmaking.

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Organization Learning and Evaluation , Beyond the Grant 

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Master Juggler Executive Institute

Leadership development for foundation executives June 21-December 30, 2015 At Exponent Philanthropy, we know some things about you. You are committed to serving your foundation, your board, and your community. You make it a priority to leverage the most from your time and money. And you often put others first, not always getting around to investing in yourself and your professional development. With you in mind, we developed the Master Juggler Executive Institute, a carefully crafted 6-month program for those in the most senior staff role at their foundations. Program Highlights A unique opportunity for executive directors/CEOs and the foundations Read more

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Laws and Legal Issues, Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Models & Approaches, Organization Learning and Evaluation , Standards, Codes, and Ethics, Program Level Learning and Evaluation, Individual Professional Development , Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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Mini-Intensive for New Philanthropists and Grantmakers

Immerse yourself in a comprehensive learning experience, and fuel your passion for grantmaking and private philanthropy. Faculty members and guest speakers from across the philanthropic community help you to learn how to give wisely. Explore a variety of funding approaches through presentations, discussions, graded assignments, and problem-solving exercises for groups and individuals. If you are an independent philanthropist, a member of a philanthropic family, or a professional grantmaker with just a few years of experience in grantmaking, this intensive is designed for you.

Categories: History, Role in Society, Mission, Vision and Values, Grantmaking, Grants Management, Models & Approaches, Organization Learning and Evaluation , Issue Specific Grantmaking, Program Level Learning and Evaluation, Beyond the Grant , General Grants , Financial Stewardship

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Next Gen Donors Report

The Next Gen Donors research project is a collaboration of 21/64 and the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy. The next generations of major philanthropists, who fit into “Gen X” (born 1964-1980) or “Gen Y/Millennial” (born 1981-2000) generational cohorts, will wield more philanthropic power than any previous generation. With an unprecedented amount of wealth, these donors hold the future of philanthropy in their hands, yet, until now, there has been little previous research on the powerful but very private group of young people who stand to become the major donors of the future Conducted in 2012, this report is based on first-of-its Read more

Categories: History, Role in Society, Mission, Vision and Values, Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Beyond the Grant , Online Publication, Resources

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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, Laws and Legal Issues, 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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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 Future of Family Philanthropy – Predicting and Preparing

The future of family philanthropy is an uncertain one, with dramatic changes taking place both in families and in philanthropy itself. But along with the uncertainty comes possibility and excitement; along with future challenges there are energized new donors and emerging innovations that could improve family giving in ways few would have predicted just a few years ago. 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 Read more

Categories: History, Role in Society, Mission, Vision and Values, Models & Approaches, Beyond the Grant 

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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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Top Readings and Resources on Learning From Failure

By: Barbara Demarest, strategy consultant, Barbara Demarest Consulting Over the past several years, there has been discussion in the world of philanthropy about failure. Here is a collection of ideas about failure – whether you learn more from it than success, how you learn from it, how organizations look at it, and the importance of failure in achieving eventual success. These different viewpoints on failure and learning come from both the field of philanthropy and from other sectors. Following Up on Failure – from The Chronicle of Philanthropy regarding learning from failure Failing Forward – posted on both Lucy Bernholz’s Philanthropy 2173 and Alliance Magazine’s blog Exploring Read more

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Models & Approaches, Individual Professional Development , Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team, Top 5 Lists

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Valuing Social Return on Investment

Strategic decision-making in philanthropic giving and social investment requires good information about the potential and actual social benefits and impacts of that investment. But this information about social impact is hard to find and to generate. Methods for valuing social benefits are complicated, haphazard, and often unknown to most social investors and organizational leaders. This relative absence of standardized legitimized ways to document the social impact of philanthropic giving and social investments means that the complete, complex value of this work in advancing the public good is underappreciated. One way to meet this need for more information and valuation methods Read more

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Models & Approaches

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What can philanthropy do for Syria?

The war in Syria is now in its fourth year. It has cost over 200,000 lives, put 12 million people in need of humanitarian assistance inside the country (USAID) and displaced 10 million, more than 3 million of whom have fled abroad as refugees. All of this has earned Syria a number of unappealing superlatives: ‘the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era’ (UNHCR); the creator of the ‘worst refugee crisis since the second world war’ (The Economist); and the world’s ‘worst crisis for children’ (UN). With a few notable exceptions, however, western philanthropists have not engaged in Syria.

Categories: History, Role in Society, Mission, Vision and Values, Grantmaking, Issue Specific Grantmaking

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Working Well With Grantees

CEP’s research shows that program officers can be the distinguishing factor between a foundation that makes a difference—and one that simply makes grants. Working Well With Grantees: A Guide for Foundation Program Staff offers program staff critical guidelines for building better relationships with grantees. The findings and suggestions in the guide are based on data from tens of thousands of surveys of nonprofits conducted by CEP during the past decade. We’ve updated, summarized, or expanded upon findings from six of our publications that focus on how foundations and grantees can best work together. We also share for the first time some new data and analysis Read more

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Models & Approaches, Program Level Learning and Evaluation, Beyond the Grant 

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