#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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Catagories: Resources, The Philanthropic Sector









11 Philanthropic Trends for 2017

The Johnson Center’s applied approach to research, thought leadership, tools, training, data, and analysis reaches across nonprofits, foundations, and the volunteers and staff who lead and support these institutions.  Our leadership is committed to providing trusted guidance for doing good and requires that we remain aware of our contexts and understand how that will influence our sector. 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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Catagories: Resources, The Philanthropic Sector









1st Annual Report on America’s Giving Style

America’s Giving Style is a breakthrough new report that goes beyond the already available statistics on giving to reveal the heart and soul of what donors are trying to accomplish with their gifts. Its focus is on understanding individuals’ underlying belief systems and motivators of how to effect change, regardless of the issue being addressed. 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. Most donors are focused on fixing immediate problems but typically will use a combination of strategies to effect long term, sustainable change. Furthermore, most Read more

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Catagories: Individual Development - Strengthening/Building Your Career, Philanthropic Models & Approaches, Resources









2015 CONNECT Conference

Take a leap forward in your philanthropic journey. Whether you’re looking to challenge your assumptions or hungry for practical knowledge, CONNECT offers something meaningful for everyone. Find inspiration in sessions that explore innovative strategies for advancing philanthropic impact or immerse yourself in sessions on philanthropy’s fundamentals. Strengthen your effectiveness, get inspired, and build community. In an intimate setting, CONNECT offers a safe, empowering space to build critical skills and knowledge while forming real, lasting relationships with peers and other experts. We bring together our welcoming staff, field thought leaders and expert partners to facilitate connections and weave networks through a Read more

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Catagories: Resources









7 Advocacy Tips for 2017

Advocacy is an important tool for your nonprofit to achieve its mission! It can take many forms—public education, litigation, and even lobbying—and there is no “one size fits all” approach. These tips can help your organization start the new year right.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant, Grantmaking and Changemaking, Resources









A Guide for Training Public Dialogue Facilitators

This is a step-by-step guide for training youth and adults as small-group dialogue facilitators in a dialogue and community change effort.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Individual Development - Strengthening/Building Your Career, Online Publication, Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team, Resources









A new era for African philanthropy

There has never been a greater time for African philanthropy and philanthropy in general than today. The momentum and interest around philanthropy have grown – at times surprisingly so, given that not so long ago philanthropy was accorded no role in formal and intergovernmental processes. Not many governments considered philanthropy in their policy processes; if they did, they would do so in disparaging or suspecting ways. African governments viewed philanthropy (particularly international foundations) as part of a western agenda to influence regime change. This view, which many still hold, has in part been fuelled by the fact that many foundations Read more

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Catagories: Resources









A Self-reflection Tool for Black Trustees on Foundation Boards

ABFE brings a point of view: Black trustees who sit at tables of power and influence have a unique opportunity to significantly influence outcomes for Black communities by “leveraging the trust” that they hold as trustees. A companion to ABFE’s Responsive Philanthropy in Black Communities: A Framework and Agenda for Change, this tool discusses the unique role of Black trustees and opportunities for reflection as they fulfill their roles.  ABFE encourages the use of this tool as a way to make a difference for Black communities.

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Catagories: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Resources, The Philanthropic Sector









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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Catagories: Content Partner, Online Publication, Philanthropy's History, Role in Society, PUBLICATIONS, Resources









B Corps/Benefit Corporation

Two new hybrid forms of incorporation, available in a growing number of states, in which a for-profit corporation formally commits to meeting standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Similar in concept tothe  new “L3C” form of incorporation but a legally distinct form .Often categorized as a “social businesses” or “social enterprise.”

Catagories: Resources









Bequest

A method of planned giving in which money, property, or other assets are donated to a charitable organization after a person passes away. Bequests are usually included in a donor’s will or other estate plan documentation.

Catagories: Resources









Better Together: Realizing the Promise of Collaboration in Family Philanthropy

Unique challenges arise, and unique opportunities open up, when family donors get involved in collaborative work in philanthropy. This report explores those special challenges and opportunities, and offers a set of recommendations for how to realize the promise of working better together. The insights here are based primarily on in-depth dialogues about family philanthropy collaboration that occurred during the third National Summit on Family Philanthropy, held in New York City in June, 2015, and hosted by the Dorothy A. Johnson Center on Philanthropy.

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Catagories: Resources, The Philanthropic Sector









Beyond Compliance: Measuring to Learn, Improve, and Create Positive Change

At their best, systems for monitoring and measuring nonprofit performance illuminate what an organization is accomplishing, where its resources are going, and how that organization might address weaknesses and build on successes. At their worst, such systems become an expensive compliance exercise, diverting resources from program delivery without returning a greater understanding of how to achieve an organization’s goals. With that context in mind, the Center and the Wharton Social Impact Initiative developed this report to tackle questions central to effective philanthropy: How do non-profits and donors measure and manage results? What tools exist, whom do they serve, which questions Read more

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Catagories: Organization Learning and Evaluation , Program Learning and Evaluation, Resources









Cause-Related Marketing/Embedded Philanthropy

When a charitable contribution or philanthropic act is built into (or “embedded” in) a commercial transaction, such as when a percentage of proceeds from sale of a product are then donated to a charitable cause or organization by the company selling the product. The company often uses the charitable aspect of the transaction to market the product or service.

Catagories: Resources









Celebrating 100 Years of Community Foundations: Stories and Lessons from 35 Years of Supporting the Community Foundation Field

The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the first community foundation in the U.S. This milestone brings with it both increased attention to the field of community philanthropy and the opportunity to demonstrate the significance of these institutions to the communities they serve. The goal of this microsite is to share what the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has learned in more than 35 years of supporting the field, offer key insights, and highlight our legacy of partnering with community foundations in a way that advances the vital work they do to strengthen their communities.  

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Catagories: Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Grantmaking, Online Publication, Philanthropic Models & Approaches, Philanthropy's History, Role in Society, Resources









Charitable Gift Annuity

A planned giving instrument in which a donor transfers money, property, or other assets to a charitable organization and receives a partial tax deduction, and then the charity pays the donor a fixed sum at regular intervals during his or her lifetime. Upon the donor’s death, the charity keeps the remaining assets as a gift.

Catagories: Resources









Charitable Lead Trust

A planned giving instrument in which a donor transfers money, property, or other assets to a trust at the time of their death, and the trust then pays out a fixed amount to a charitable organization for a set number of years. After this time, the remaining assets in the trust are transfered to the donor’s heirs or other beneficiaries.

Catagories: Resources









Charitable Remainder Trust

A planned giving instrument in which a donor transfers money, property, or other assets to a charitable organization and receives a partial tax deduction, and then the charity pays the donor a fixed sum at regular intervals during his or her lifetime. Upon the donor’s death, the charity keeps the remaining assets as a gift.

Catagories: Resources









Co-Creation: Viewing Partnerships Through A New Lens

Collaboration remains an on-going discourse throughout the funder community, but little has been written about explorations or innovations into different ways of working collectively, beyond what was established decades ago. For large-scale systems change, co-creation may be a more fitting approach; it acknowledges self-interest, existing alongside shared goals and purpose, as necessary to sustain voluntary efforts. Co-creation is predicated on the notion that traditional topdown planning or decision-making should give way to a more flexible participatory structure, where diverse constituencies are invited in to collectively solve problems. This case study examines the partnership of the Connecticut Early Childhood Funder Collaborative, the Read more

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Catagories: Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Resources, Strategy and Evaluation









Community Foundation

A grantmaking institution with a broad charitable mission, almost always tied to a specific geographic area. Legally categorized as a public charity rather than a private foundation, a community foundation meets the public support test by raising donations from individuals or institutions. It then make grants or other philanthropic investments in the community, under the guidance of a board that is representative of the community. Community foundations offer different methods of giving to donors, including donor-advised funds, gifts to the foundation’s permanent endowment, various planned giving options, or other earmarked gifts or special funds.

Catagories: Resources









Corporate Foundation

A philanthropic entity funded by contributions from a corporate entity, but established as a legally distinct entity. Almost always organized legally as a private foundation focused primarily on grantmaking, but can be a public charity or operating foundation. Contributions from the corporate entity are often made at regular intervals and so corporate foundations usually have smaller permanent endowments than other foundations. While legally distinct from the corporation’s internal giving or social responsibility program, the corporate foundation very often maintains close ties to the corporation beyond simply financial ones. The foundation often gives in geographic areas in which the corporation operates, Read more

Catagories: Resources









Corporate Giving/Corporate Social Responsibility

Philanthropic contributions made by corporations, using the same methods as individuals (e.g. giving money/grants, time/talent, in-kind products or services, and more). Corporations can give as a corporate entity and/or through a corporate foundation set up as a separate legal entity. “CSR” refers to the general commitment of a corporation to social benefit, including its corporate giving.

Catagories: Resources









Crowdfunding

A method of raising money for an initiative or organization – often one in the initial or “start-up” phase – from two or more people contributing to the fundraising goal, usually through an online platform.

Catagories: Resources









Crowdfunding

A method of raising money for an initiative or organization – often one in the initial or “start-up” phase – from two or more people contributing to the fundraising goal, usually through an online platform.

Catagories: Resources









Doing What it Takes: Organizing Your Foundation For Impact

In this video, Paul Grogan discusses how The Boston Foundation has taken on a significant community leadership role in addition to its stewardship and grantmaking roles. Hear how The Boston Foundation: uses research to help guide its direction gathers citizen input to inform its activities makes the most of communications to promote its work and directly engages in public policy activity to ensure a deep and long-lasting impact.

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Catagories: Developing Your Talent and Leadership, Governance , Organization Learning and Evaluation , Resources, Strategy and Evaluation









Donor Strategies to Prevent Childhood Obesity: Lessons from Greater Philadelphia

Across the United States, donors are working on multiple aspects of the fight to prevent childhood obesity. While this guide features approaches implemented nationwide, we have focused on examples of their implementation in Philadelphia, as a city that may serve as a national model due to its decreases in childhood obesity amongst some of the most affected populations (African-American, Hispanic, and low-income youth). The guide identifies three strategies for donors who seek change: start early; increase access to healthy foods and physical activity; and enable healthy choices.    

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Catagories: Issue-Specific Grants, Resources









Donor-Advised Fund

A fund established – with an initial gift and perhaps subsequent gifts from one or more donors – at a nonprofit public charity which then (for a fee) invests the money and manages the process of making grants from the fund as advised by the donor(s). The most common sponsors of DAFs are community foundations, charitable arms of for-profit financial institutions, and certain national host organizations. DAFs are not subject to the same legal rules at private foundations and are considered gifts to the public charity managing the fund even if the money is then re-granted as “advised” by the Read more

Catagories: Resources









Donor-Advised Fund

A fund established – with an initial gift and perhaps subsequent gifts from one or more donors – at a nonprofit public charity which then (for a fee) invests the money and manages the process of making grants from the fund as advised by the donor(s). The most common sponsors of DAFs are community foundations, charitable arms of for-profit financial institutions, and certain national host organizations. DAFs are not subject to the same legal rules at private foundations and are considered gifts to the public charity managing the fund even if the money is then re-granted as “advised” by the Read more

Catagories: Resources









Due Diligence

Due diligence—the process by which a funder assesses an organization before deciding to invest—can cause anxiety for grantmakers and grantseekers alike. In part, this is because it’s poorly understood. In this guide, we dispel five myths, distinguish between legal compliance and the rest of the due diligence process, and clarify legal requirements.  A publication of Project Streamline – an effort of funders and nonprofits to improve grant application, monitoring and reporting practices. It is a collaborative initiative of the Grants Managers Network, in partnership with the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Association of Small Foundations, the Council on Foundations, the Forum Read more

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Catagories: Grantmaking, Making and Managing Grants, Resources









Equity: is Your Foundation Ready to Invest in Building Opportunity for All?

Research shows that one of the greatest impediments to a prosperous future for all of Michigan’s people is unequal access to resources. To help foundation leaders and their boards begin essential conversations about marginalized populations and determine the extent to which their organization’s culture and grantmaking practices are aligned with a commitment to expanding opportunity in the communities they serve, CMF developed this discussion guide and self-assessment.

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Catagories: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Models and Approaches, Resources, The Philanthropic Sector









Expert Q & A: Strategic, Emergent, or (fill in the blank) Philanthropy: What’s the Right Approach?

By Dara Major, Principal, Dara Major Philanthropy Consulting Over the last century or so of philanthropic practice, multiple pathways for achieving results have emerged.  Two of the most widely adopted  (and most recently debated) are “strategic” and “emergent” philanthropy.  Both have deep roots in the field, as well as a range of adherents and even skeptics.  Other approaches in various stages of experimentation, adoption, or rejection include “philanthrocapitalism,” and “venture,” “catalytic,” and “high engagement” philanthropy. What’s a grantmaker to do?  Which approach, hybrid, or combination of approaches is right for you/ your program or initiative / your organization?   How can Read more

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Catagories: Ask an Expert, Individual Development - Strengthening/Building Your Career, Philanthropic Models & Approaches, Resources









Families Funding Change

Social justice grantmaking is an important part of many family foundations’ strategies. These foundations use their reputation and financial capital for systemic reform by funding work such as nonprofit advocacy, community organizing and civic engagement. Yet, many family foundations also encounter hurdles when they consider a shift to strategic social justice giving.

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Catagories: Models and Approaches, Resources, The Philanthropic Sector









Family Foundation

While there is no legal nor widely accepted definition of what qualifies as a “family” foundation, the term is usually applied to a class of independent, non-operating private foundations in which: the mission and giving continues to be strongly influenced by the intent of the founding donor(s), the founding donor(s) or familial descendants play some governance role in the foundation (e.g., as trustees or even staff), and the assets come from a founding family or individual. However, some public foundations, operating foundations, and other types have these qualities as well so can be considered family foundations. Many independent foundations began Read more

Catagories: Resources









Financial Inclusion – Opportunities and Risks for Donors

People living in poverty often lack access to safe, reliable ways to manage the little money they have. As a result, they face de facto exclusion from the financial system the rest of us rely on. To address this problem, a unique philanthropic project, funded by the Gates Foundation and led by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and Bankable Frontier Associates, formed partnerships with five large banks in the developing world. People living in poverty often lack access to safe, reliable ways to manage the little money they have. As a result, they face de facto exclusion from the financial system the Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant, Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Grantmaking and Changemaking, Resources, Strategy and Evaluation









Gender Transformative Philanthropy A Key to Improving Program Outcome and Impact in At-Risk Communities

As foundations and other philanthropic institutions assess where they can maximize the social return on their charitable investments, many are looking at issues of gender norms and gender equity. To complicate matters further, in the US, where there’s often a widely held assumption that women and girls already enjoy full equality of rights, grantees may not see the need to have a gender analysis at all. Or if they do have one, it is marginalized. As one experienced program officer put it, “Grantees need to see gender and race together. Gender impacts every issue they work on. But grantees are Read more

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Catagories: Organization Learning and Evaluation , Resources, Strategy and Evaluation









Getting Started in Philanthropy

Giving can be one of the most meaningful, life-enhancing aspects of our lives. More than a gesture, giving has the potential to help turn around the most serious problems in our troubled world. What we get in return can be invaluable. The question of how much to give is not frivolous. How do we, individually and as a society, stop hoarding financial abundance, using it as a scorecard, or simply pretending it’s not there? What will help us share our resources wisely? This publication provides six questions to ask as you begin your giving journey. With each one, we’ve offered Read more

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Catagories: Grantmaking and Changemaking, Resources









Giving Circle/Pooled Fund

A method of giving in which a group of people combine their contributions into a single joint gift or on-going pooled fund. While there are many specific variations in form and process, most giving circles or pooled funds involve some sort of group decision-making about the target and recipients of the joint gift(s).

Catagories: Resources









Giving Money – Offline, Online, Mobile

Giving money to a charitable organization or cause using offline or online means, or mobile technology. Offline means include checkwriting and direct cash donations as well as formal grantmaking by institutions. Online means include giving through a charity’s direct website, social media, a giving portal or other online giving platform, or a crowdfunding site. Mobile giving uses technology such as text messaging and mobile “apps.” The different methods have different advantages and disadvantages – e.g., the level of convenience, information, fees and restrictions, etc. – and so appeal to different donors or those in particular circumstances. Whether a donor can Read more

Catagories: Resources









Grantmakers for Effective Organizations

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations is a diverse community of more than 500 grantmakers reshaping the way philanthropy operates to invest in nonprofit success. Mission: Understanding that grantmakers are successful only to the extent that their grantees achieve meaningful results, GEO promotes strategies and practices that contribute to grantee success. Nonprofits are successful at achieving more meaningful change in our communities when they have the resources and skills to be effective. By not adequately responding to what nonprofits say they need most to maximize impact, funders can inadvertently do harm to the organizations and causes we intend to support. Changing grantmaker Read more




Grantmaking

A formalized process of giving money, usually through a private foundation or grantmaking public charity. Grants are usually distinguished from other gifts of money by the formal application and reporting requirements, the specific purposes for which grant funds may be used, a bounded time period for grant funds to be used, and the more explicit strategy used to guide grantmaking decisions.

Catagories: Resources









Grantmaking in the South: An Opportunity to Support Equity and Resilience

NCRP’s Ryan Schlegel interviewed Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation’s executive director Justin Maxson and network officer Lavastian Glenn about philanthropy in the South. Among the topics they discussed: foundations’ support for social change in the South, how to strengthen partnerships between Southern and national funders, and what has changed in the South since Lavastian authored an article in the summer 2013 edition of Responsive Philanthropy.

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Catagories: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Resources, The Philanthropic Sector









Guiding Principles and Effective Practices for Connecticut Grantmakers

Guiding Principles and Effective Practices for Connecticut Grantmakers is a concise resource listing eight guiding principles for Connecticut grantmaker accountability and suggested effective practices. The Connecticut Council’s Board of Directors offers these Guiding Principles and Effective Practices to its members and other Connecticut funders to articulate a shared commitment to excellence and to serve as a guide for Connecticut funders as we pursue our missions. CCP recognizes that there are different ways to implement each of the Guiding Principles and offers suggestions for effective practices that can be adopted or adapted to best suit your organization.  More information on implementing these Read more

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Catagories: Resources, Standards, Codes, Ethics, The Philanthropic Sector









Health Conversion/Health Legacy Foundation

A type of private foundation created when a nonprofit hospital or health/insurance organization is sold and converted to a for-profit enterprise. Federal law requires that the proceeds from such a sale must go to a charitable purpose, so often these proceeds are used to create a new endowed grantmaking foundation. Health conversion or health legacy foundations usually have health as their primary grantmaking focus, and often give to health causes in the geographic region formerly served by the nonprofit that was sold. Note, however, that these foundations are not legally a separate type or regulatory category.

Catagories: Resources









High Impact Philanthropy Blog: Five Myths And A Question About Impact

Everyone seems to be talking about it. Most say they want it. But who really gets to define impact and for whom? This blog series grew out of a collaborative effort between our team at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy and Women Moving Millions.  

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Catagories: Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Individual Development - Strengthening/Building Your Career, Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team, Resources









High Impact Philanthropy Blog: Rethinking the E-Word

The following post was originally published on the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog as part of a series exploring the meaning and value of strategic philanthropy. Evidence-based philanthropy. To some, that phrase offers the promise of long-overdue rigor. If the first principle of philanthropy and social impact is to do good, then evidence-based philanthropy ensures that we honor its corollary: Do no harm. To others, that phrase represents all that is going wrong with philanthropy and social innovation—the rise of the ivory-tower theorists and technocrats whose logic models and fixation with metrics blind them to real-world knowledge and common sense. It’s time Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Philanthropic Models & Approaches, Resources









Impact Investing

A general term for a number of methods for making socially responsible financial investments. Impact investments seek to generate multiple forms of value, to create positive social and/or environmental returns or impacts in addition to financial returns. Also called “social investing” and encompassing “mission-related investing” (MRI), “program-related investing” (PRI), and other emerging methods. Investments can be made by individuals, organizations, or collectives using a variety of investment vehicles. Impact investment seeks to encourage socially responsible business practices, disinvest in businesses that contribute to social or environmental harm, and provide seed or low-interest loan capital to socially-responsible business ventures. Can also Read more

Catagories: Resources









Improving Child Survival Rates: Guidance for Donors

Every year almost seven million children die before they reach their fifth birthday, mostly from preventable causes such as pneumonia and diarrhea.1 The good news is that we have many proven effective tools to prevent and to treat disease and community-level approaches that are relatively low-cost within easy reach of a donor to support. In fact, an estimated two-thirds of child deaths can be prevented with the interventions available and feasible today.2       Footnotes 1 Unicef. Levels and Trends in Child Mortality report 2012. http://www.unicef.org/videoaudio/PDFs/UNICEF_2012_child_mortality_for_web_0904.pdf 2 Jones G et al. “How many child deaths can we prevent this Read more

Catagories: Issue-Specific Grants, Resources









Improving the Practice of Philanthropy: An Evaluation of the Hewlett Foundation’s Knowledge Creation and Dissemination Strategy

LearnPhilanthropy is excited to share this resource, written by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Harder + Company Community Research. As part of the Hewlett Foundation’s evaluation of the $24 million it has invested to-date in knowledge creation and dissemination about philanthropic practice, the evaluation team used LearnPhilanthropy’s taxonomy to categorize the types of knowledge produced by its grantees.

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Catagories: Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Online Publication, Resources









In-Kind Giving

Donations of goods or services of any kind – e.g., clothing, “toys for tots,” free advertising space – except money or appreciated property like real estate. Sometimes meant to include gifts of time, talent, and expertise.

Catagories: Resources









Independent, Non-Operating Foundation

A type of private foundation – with assets usually derived from a single source – that has grantmaking or other philanthropic investment as its primary focus, rather than operating programs, but that cannot be classified under other types of private foundations such as corporate, family, or health conversion. Many independent foundations were once family foundations but transitioned away from direct family influence or involvement at some point.

Catagories: Resources









Innovations in Open Grantmaking

Innovations in Open Grantmaking seeks to provide inspiration and early proof of concept regarding innovative practices at every stage of the grantmaking process. The examples and lessons included can act as suggested guidelines for future research and experimentation around more openly and effectively providing access to public money.  This guide includes: Introduction to Open and Effective Grantmaking: What it is, why it matters Innovations Pre-Granting: Ideation challenges, improving the quality of applications through matchmaking, and prioritizing bottom-up participation Innovations in Granting: Open peer review and participatory judging, evidence-based grantmaking, expert networking, and open alternatives to grants Innovations Post-Granting: Opening data about grants, grantors, and Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant, Grantmaking and Changemaking, Resources









Integrated Transactions: an Emerging Focus for Community Development

This paper examines development models that intentionally integrate elements from two or more sectors, the capital challenges inherent in such projects, and the unique role that community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and philanthropy play in overcoming those challenges. These innovative, emerging models are combining people and place-based strategies to deliver deeper impact to low-income communities, and often require more flexibility and technical support to move forward than the typical capital project. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and philanthropy are well positioned to provide the critical capital and technical assistance that make these projects possible. Unlike fully integrated, outcomes-driven models that Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant, Grantmaking and Changemaking, Resources, Types of Grants









Invest in a Strong Start for Children: A Toolkit for Donors

In the past thirty seconds, three more children were born in the United States. All three of these infants may be equally capable, but as they grow older, there is a strong chance that only two will graduate from high school. And it’s not just about high school graduation. The lack of strong support in early childhood means that millions of children in the U.S. face lives of lost potential. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Donors can help all children get an equal chance at a strong start.  

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Catagories: Issue-Specific Grants, Resources









L3C

Short for “Low-profit, Limited Liability Company.” A new hybrid form of incorporation, available in a growing number of states, in which a for-profit venture has a stated goal of maximizing social benefits instead of profits. Designed specifically to allow and attract multiple sources of capital for the socially-oriented business, including program-related investments from foundations. Similar in concept to the new B Corps/Benefit Corporations form of incorporation but a legally distinct form. Often categorized as a “social businesses” or “social enterprise.” A set of methods for providing financial capital, credit, and banking services to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and low-income individuals who Read more

Catagories: Resources









Laying the Groundwork for a National Impact Investing Marketplace

Impact investing is an umbrella concept encompassing several investment tools, including mission related investments (MRIs), program related investments (PRIs), and screening mechanisms for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) priorities. The practice of impact investing is rapidly gaining momentum, but the level of activity among individual and institutional investors, including philanthropists and foundations, has barely penetrated projections of market potential. Foundations are among the most reluctant investors and represent the smallest share of current activity. The academic, nonprofit, Denver-based Impact Finance Center1 (IFC) has established a proof point for creating impact investing “marketplaces” at a statewide scale across all sectors, asset classes, Read more

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Catagories: Financial Management, Foundation Management, Resources









LearnPhilanthropy’s Real Simple Taxonomy

By: Dara Major, Philanthropy Consultant Good content needs a good search – but sometimes a simple keyword search is not enough to produce the result a user seeks. That’s where a taxonomy comes in: a taxonomy is a classification or categorization system that groups similar items into broad topics or buckets. A taxonomy can help to organize knowledge “at a glance,” describe concepts not found directly in the content, and includes terms, categories and keywords. LearnPhilanthropy has developed a Real Simple Taxonomy, created with extensive testing and feedback at each stage (and ongoing) by dozens of grantmakers and others across Read more

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Catagories: Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Philanthropic Models & Approaches, Resources









Lessons in Funder Collaboration: What the Packard Foundation Has Learned about Working with Other Funders

Funder collaboration has been a hot topic in philanthropy for years. But interest has grown of late as more funders realize that individual efforts simply are not enough to address complex social problems. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has championed this view for decades as it has worked with dozens of other funders towards a common purpose. Clearly, collaboration can be a powerful means to amplify resources and impact, as this report presents in some detail. But good intentions aren’t enough to ensure success. Bridgespan’s exploration of Packard’s collaborations identified a number of factors that significantly raise the chances Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Making and Managing Grants, Organization Learning and Evaluation , Resources, Strategy and Evaluation









Making Big Bets for Social Change

Donors feel this “aspiration gap” in their philanthropy. For the last 16 years, The Bridgespan Group has counseled more than 50 of the world’s most generous and ambitious philanthropists. Many have said some version of “I can’t find enough opportunities to put large amounts of my money to work on the issues I really want to change.” They’ve spent years searching for such defining opportunities; they’re deeply frustrated; and they’re worried that they’re not making nearly the difference they could. Is their frustration warranted? Would more big bets really make a big difference? If the answer is “Yes” to both Read more

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Catagories: Resources, The Philanthropic Sector









Microfinance

A set of methods for providing financial capital, credit, and banking services to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and low-income individuals who otherwise lack adequate access to such capital and services. Can include loans, savings, “microcredit,” or other banking services and typically involves relatively small amounts of money. The transactions are often processed through online and/or local intermediaries, including specialized microfinance institutions.

Catagories: Resources









Mission-Related Investing

A type of – or sometimes alternate general term for – impact investing. MRI is most commonly used to refer to socially responsible financial investment practices used by foundations or other endowed entities, in which endowment funds are invested in ways that support the mission and values of the organization.

Catagories: Resources









Moving Beyond Job Creation: Defining and Measuring the Creation of Quality Jobs

Since the end of the Great Recession, almost 12 million jobs have been created — but most have been in low-wage occupations and at places like strip malls and fast-food restaurants. Average wages for working Americans have dropped 23 percent. It’s become clear that job creation does not equate to lasting economic change. In order to reverse the troubling trends we’re seeing, we no longer find it defensible to focus on job creation alone. We must shift our focus to the creation of higher quality jobs that are good for workers and their families, good for businesses, and good for communities. Through a better understanding of Read more

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Catagories: Models and Approaches, Resources, The Philanthropic Sector









Moving Philanthropy from the Margins to the Center

This article is adapted from the book Philanthropy in Democratic Societies.[1] 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. Philanthropy in Democratic Societies provides an integrated, multidisciplinary exploration of philanthropy’s role and legitimacy in a democratic society, revealing how such a focus can open up Read more

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Catagories: Philanthropy's History, Role in Society, Resources, The Philanthropic Sector









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

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Mission and Values, Online Publication, Philanthropy's History, Role in Society, Resources









Operating Foundation

A type of private foundation – with assets usually derived from a single source – that uses the majority of its assets to operate charitable programs or provide services, rather than to make grants or other philanthropic investments. Operating private foundations must follow the general IRS regulations for private foundations, but are treated and classified as a distinct legal category, separate from non-operating foundations. Most operating foundations have an endowment, and some make a limited number of grants alongside operating their programs.

Catagories: Resources









Participate: The Power of Involving Business in Social Impact Networks

If you are involved in a collective effort to address a large-scale social challenge and are wondering how companies could play a meaningful role, this handbook is for you. It is a companion to ENGAGE: How Funders Can Support and Leverage Networks for Social Impact, a resource for philanthropic funders considering whether a social impact network might be the right investment; and if so, what kind of network to engage with, and what role to play. Building on that guidance, this handbook focuses on the particular models for building social impact networks that engage the private sector. Why would a Read more

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Catagories: Models and Approaches, Resources, The Philanthropic Sector









Pay-What-it-Takes Philanthropy

It’s time to break the “starvation cycle,” a vexing pattern of underfunding and underinvesting that prevents countless nonprofits from maximizing their impact. Despite years of conversation around the topic of funding the real cost of programs, many grantmakers continue to pay flat—and too low—overhead rates regardless of a their grantees’ actual needs. “Pay what it takes” philanthropy looks to remedy the situation by providing a flexible approach to funding, grounded in real costs. By taking into account the true dollars needed, this new approach has the potential to shift funding from programs and services to what it actually takes to create Read more

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Catagories: General Grantmaking Skills, Grantmaking and Changemaking, Resources









Philanthropy Advocacy Playbook

Philanthropy Advocacy Playbook: Leveraging Your Dollars is designed to provide foundations with the information they need to both fund and conduct advocacy. The Playbook provides examples of how foundation investments have generated meaningful policy change, as well as links to other publications and fact sheets that will allow foundation leaders to quickly answer their questions and access additional information. Many nonprofit leaders view advocacy as a tool that advances their mission, empowers their supporters and members, triggers public debate and discussion, and leads to solutions for pressing problems. Active, successful nonprofits with policy goals understand that employing advocacy strategies is perfectly legal including, within limits, tactics Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Essentials, Legal Issues, Foundations, and Nonprofits, Making and Managing Grants, Resources









Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2017

Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2017 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.  This publication includes the following: Insight: Big Ideas That Matter for 2017: What is political? What is philanthropic? Worksheets: Data, Governance, and Your Organization Foresight: Predictions for 2017 Hindsight: Renovations to Previous Forecasts Buzzword Watch Glimpses of the Future: Black Lives Matter and Closing Civic Space

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Catagories: Philanthropy's History, Role in Society, Resources, The Philanthropic Sector









Planned Giving

General term for a variety of methods of giving used in financial or estate planning, in which part or all of the donation is deferred to a later date, usually the death of the donor. Often allows donors to make larger gift commitments than they could otherwise.

Catagories: Resources









Private Foundation

A tax-exempt entity legally defined under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, distinguished from “public charity” entities covered in that same section. Private foundations usually get their funds from a single primary source such as an individual, family, or corporation. The category is further divided by the IRS into “operating” and “non-operating” foundations, with the majority of foundations being the latter (including corporate, family, health conversion, and independent foundations) and pursuing their charitable missions primarily through grantmaking or other philanthropic investments. Many private foundations keep funds in an endowment, though some are “pass through” entities, and they can be Read more

Catagories: Resources









Program-Related Investing

A type of impact investing in which a grantmaking institution provides capital in the form of low-interest loans, loan guarantees, or related financing methods that involve some form of repayment. PRI financing is provided to charitable organizations as well as other types such as L3Cs and socially responsible businesses. PRIs are meant to further the mission of the grantmaking institution using means beyond traditional grants, andthey count toward the annual payout requirement (5% of endowed assets) for private foundations.

Catagories: Resources









Program-Related Investment Rules for Private Foundations

This free (and fun) video resource defines and helps the user understand the basic legal rules for program-related investments.  The video guides the user through the PRI process, and discusses how these investments can support the organization’s programmatic work and/or expand the organization’s charitable work. The training features “Maya,” a program officer that helps participants through the course in a way that reflects actual experiences. Participants can return to the training at any time for a refresher and click on the individual modules to refer back to specific topics.

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Catagories: Models and Approaches, Resources, The Philanthropic Sector









Promoting Collaboration Among Grantees

This one page quick reference sheet provides tips on ways to promote collaboration among grantees, and ensure successful collaboration.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant, Grantmaking and Changemaking, Resources









Public Charity

A tax-exempt entity legally defined under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, distinguished from “private foundaton” entities covered in that same section. Public charities derive their funding primarily from the general public, through fees for service or products, contracts, and gifts and grants. Some public charities make grants or other philanthropic contributions such as scholarships (e.g., community foundations, public foundations), but most are focused on advancing their philanthropic missions through a variety of charitable services and activities.The IRS further subclassifies a number of types of public charities, including supporting organizations.

Catagories: Resources









Public Foundation/Grantmaking Public Charity

A type of public charity that has grantmaking (e.g., for medical research or scholarships) as its primary activity. While these institutions make grants like private foundations, they are classified as public charities and meet the public support test by raising the money they use for grantmaking from multiple public sources, including individuals, corporations, private foundations, contracts and fees, etc. Even though they raise new money from the public on a regular basis, public foundations can also have some endowment.

Catagories: Resources









Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide

Advancing race equity and inclusion can sometimes seem daunting and often leaves many wondering how and where to start. One way to achieve social change in an organization is to incorporate race equity and inclusion at every stage of work. The seven steps in this guide provide a clear framework for undertaking this important work. This tool adds to the resources already created by partners who have been working in the field. It works by demonstrating how a race equity lens can be adopted by foundations or other organizations that work directly with systems, technical assistance providers and communities.

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Catagories: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Online Publication, Resources, Type of Resource









Rethinking the funding equation: Can general operating support become the new normal?

Nonprofit leaders are raising their voices on the issue of operating support. While I stood silent as a professional working at Treehouse, today’s leaders are starting to speak up about the great need for unrestricted funding. Vu Le, a Seattle nonprofit leader, has received national recognition for his humorous, spot-on blog that contains several posts about this issue. Yet with all of this momentum, why does general operating support still account for only a relative fraction of all grantmaking?

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , General Grants , Making and Managing Grants, Resources









Social Enterprise/Social Business

A commercial entity that uses business practices and provides products or services that generate revenue in the marketplace, but does so in order to advance a social or charitable mission. Related to the idea of “corporate social responsibility,” but in social enterprises and social businesses the social mission is top priority and all aspects of the business – the nature of its products and services, hiring and personnel policies, environmental practices, etc. – align with that philanthropic mission. B Corps/Benefit Corporations, and L3Cs, are usually considered social businesses.

Catagories: Resources









Social Impact Bond

A new, performance-based investment mechanism bringing together government, service providers, and investors in a contractual relationship to provide the captial needed to achieve some desired social outcome. Also known as “pay-for-success” bonds. Investors provide funding, often through a coordinating intermediary, to a service provider such as a nonprofit organization. If the provider achieves certain outcomes goals and measurable results, then the government pays financial returns to the investors based on the cost-savings the government realizes because of this success.

Catagories: Resources









State of Evaluation: Evaluation Practice and Capacity in the Nonprofit Sector

This publication includes recent findings (from 2016) about how nonprofits engage in evaluation, and the capacities and characteristics of their organizations.  

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Catagories: Organization Learning and Evaluation , Resources, Strategy and Evaluation









Strengthening the Human Services Sector

The Human Services sector finds itself today in an environment of profound change. The demography of our nation is being reconfigured. Technologies are being reinvented almost daily. The size and structure of governmental supports are in flux, as are governmental regulations. Our organizations face growing for-profit competition, expanded capital requirements, increasing donor expectations and, on the part of many would-be public supporters, an unsettling degree of “compassion fatigue.” Moreover, as one thought leader pointed out, all of these trends are here to stay. To examine these and other concerns, The Kresge Foundation held a symposium with leaders of national networks Read more

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Catagories: Issue-Specific Grants, Making and Managing Grants, Program Learning and Evaluation, Resources, Strategy and Evaluation









Successful Structures: Rethinking the Role of Grants Management

Effective grantmaking organizations deliberately connect the “how” of grantmaking to strategy and impact. In these organizations, the practices, processes, and systems that get money out the door to support important work in communities are informed, assessed, and strengthened using timely data about grantmaking effectiveness. In these organizations, thoughtful conversations about how to make grants most effectively are everyone’s business: programs, operations, finance, and executive staff work together to analyze and improve grantmaking practice.

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Catagories: Grantmaking and Changemaking, Grants Management, Resources









Supporting Organization/Supporting Foundation

A subcategory of public charity defined in the Internal Revenue Code and subject to certain special requirements and restrictions. A supporting organizaton exists to benefit, or to perform functions for or of, one or more other public charities. A supporting organization has a very close relationship with another public charity in operations and control. While there are many variations under this IRS category, and while supporting organizations are technically public charities, they often have “foundation” in their name, such as university foundations or hospital foundations that exist to raise money and provide assistance to those institutions and are influenced by Read more

Catagories: Resources









TEDx and TED Talks About Learning

By: Megan Murphy, LearnPhilanthropy Project Manager  Here at LearnPhilanthropy, we are interested in how you learn as much as providing resources to help you learn. We believe it is important to think about our own learning styles. Having information on different styles and techniques can help us overcome frustration and be more intentional about focusing effort toward learning. Below are some of our favorite TEDx and TED Talks about learning how to learn. Learning How to Learn: Barbara Oakley talks about learning how to use focused energy to learn something new with the Pomodoro Technique. The First 20 Hours: 10,000 hours Read more

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Catagories: Individual Development - Strengthening/Building Your Career, Resources, Top 5 Lists









TEDx: Amplify the Money You Give

The word “philanthropist” evokes the names of billionaire donors – Rockefeller, Gates, Pew – but in reality, most charitable giving comes from regular people giving smaller amounts. How can you, the non-billionaire, do the most good with what you give? Kat Rosqueta shows how to become a high-impact philanthropist, with a few tips for getting more engaged with your donations – one dollar, one cause, at a time. She believes the word is not just for Rockefellers; rather, a philanthropist is anyone who gives money, time, or skill with the goal of helping make the world better, at any scale.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking, Resources









The Center for High Impact Philanthropy Blog: How Can I Help?

In the wake of natural disasters, health crises, and violence donors often ask, “How Can I Help?” To shed some light on this question, we developed a blog series on a variety of different disaster relief and recovery topics.  

Catagories: Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Organization Learning and Evaluation , Program Learning and Evaluation, Resources









The Resiliency Guide

The Organizational Effectiveness team at the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation has developed a Resiliency Guide – a framework for assessing organizational resiliency, and a resource for understanding its characteristics. The tool and accompanying resources are designed to be useful to grantees and grantmakers – hopefully facilitating their dialogue about the challenges of operating in a dynamic context. The Guide and related materials draw on the experience of the Foundation’s program staff and external experts, and incorporate feedback and perspectives from a range of grantees and colleagues.

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Catagories: Developing Your Talent and Leadership, Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team, Resources









The Road to Achieving Equity 12 Findings from a Field Scan of Foundations That Are Embracing Equity

Over the past few years, equity has emerged as a key issue in American society, described as the “defining issue of our time” by authors and speakers in various fields. In the first half of 2016, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation asked Putnam Consulting Group to conduct a field scan to learn how other foundations are working to incorporate equity — both in their internal operations and in their grantmaking. We conducted 30 conversations with staff leaders at 15 foundations considered by their peers to be on the forefront in embracing equity.

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Catagories: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Resources, Standards, Codes, Ethics, The Philanthropic Sector









Through the Looking Glass: Foundation Evaluation and Learning and the Quest for Strategic Learning

This article addresses different models that foundations use to establish staff evaluation and learning functions, what other organizational considerations they should take into account in order to prioritize strategic-learning work, and what tools and approaches can be used to initiate strategic learning. Interviews with officers from more than a dozen foundations revealed that strategic learning does not require wholesale structural and cultural change; an incremental approach, instead, can phase in greater complexity as foundations expand staff capacity. The interviews also uncovered several areas where further exploration of system building and practice at foundations has potential for advancing the field.

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Catagories: Resources, Strategy and Evaluation









Top 10 Lessons Learned in Grantmaking

Presented by: Caroline Altman Smith and Helen Davis Johnson of the Kresge Foundation Philanthropy can be a complex field. Whether you’re starting your career, transitioning into a new role, or simply want a refresher, let us be your guide. This free, 30-minute webinar will introduce you to essential topics every philanthropic professional should know and give you three strategies for getting more informed about and connected to the field. Click “Go To Resource” to listen to the webinar*, or download the file to view the slides.   *Please note that the webinar recording starts a few minutes into the presentation.

Catagories: Developing Your Talent and Leadership, Individual Development - Strengthening/Building Your Career, Resources, Top 5 Lists, Webinar









Top 5 Starting Places for Family Foundations and Donors

By: Michael Moody, Frey Chair for Family Philanthropy at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy These five resources in the LearnPhilanthropy Knowledge Library are ideal starting places for grantmakers involved in family giving in some way – as a trustee or staff of a family foundation or a donor-advised fund, as an individual donor, as a consultant or family advisor, etc. This list also points to some of the primary infrastructure organizations serving family grantmakers, and each source has multiple other resources for family donors who want to dig further. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors: Your Philanthropy Roadmap – The “Philanthropy Read more

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Catagories: Grantmaking, Individual Development - Strengthening/Building Your Career, Philanthropic Models & Approaches, Resources, Standards, Codes, and Ethics, Top 5 Lists









Top Learning Frameworks for Grantmakers

By: Dara Major, Principal, Dara Major Philanthropy Consulting The specific learning needs of grantmakers can vary widely – depending on mission, goals, structure and context and, ultimately, individual roles and competencies. We’ve scanned the sector for existing, high-quality learning frameworks that illustrate a range of perspectives on roles and competencies in a variety of operating contexts, with the understanding that most grantmakers work within multiple frameworks. The examples below include a mix of knowledge (what grantmakers should know) and competencies (what grantmakers should be expected to do) – and are useful whether you are an individual program officer new to your Read more

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Catagories: Individual Development - Strengthening/Building Your Career, Philanthropic Models & Approaches, Resources, Top 5 Lists









Top Philanthropy Job Boards

Nonprofit and Philanthropy Job Boards Associated Grantmakers Bridgespan Charity Channel Chronicle of Philanthropy The Communications Network Common Good Careers Council on Foundations Emerging Practitioners In Philanthropy (EPIP) Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers Idealist National Council of Nonprofits Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group The Nonprofit Times Opportunity Knocks Philanthropy Journal Philanthropy News Digest Professionals for Nonprofits Regional Job Boards Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers  Colorado Association of Funders Connecticut Council for Philanthropy Council of Michigan Foundations Northern California Grantmakers Philanthropy New York Philanthropy Northwest Philanthropy Ohio

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Catagories: Resources, Top 5 Lists









Top Resources for Philanthropists with Few or No Staff

By: Exponent Philanthropy  Across the country, tens of thousands of foundations, giving circle members, donor advised fund holders, and individual donors are intentionally keeping their operations lean and their ears to the ground. These “lean” funders seek to nimbly maneuver their dollars, skills, and influence to achieve the most good.   At Exponent Philanthropy, we’re dedicated to serving funders who choose to give big with few or no staff. We’re pleased to share the following top resources from our shop and trusted colleague organizations.   Get up to speed If new to philanthropy or in need of a refresher, turn Read more

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Catagories: Individual Development - Strengthening/Building Your Career, Resources, Top 5 Lists









Volunteering/Giving Time

Giving time to a charitable cause or organization without receiving financial remuneration. Often refered to as “service” or expanded to include giving talent, energy, expertise, etc. Often combined with other forms of giving, but can be the sole method of donating. [gravity forms id=”5″ update]

Catagories: Resources









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

Catagories: Resources









Working With Government Officials: Rules for Private Foundations

This free (and fun) video resource covers the rules for private foundations related to working with government officials and ensure legal compliance, and takes approximately 60 minutes to complete. The training features “Maya,” a program officer that helps participants through the course in a way that reflects actual experiences. Participants can return to the training at any time for a refresher and click on the individual modules to refer back to specific topics.

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Catagories: Foundation Management, Governance, Resources