A Hedgehog Moment: The Roles and Pitfalls of Strategic Philanthropy for Family Foundations and Donors

This article reviews books by foundation officials, consultants and academics that broadly emphasize the idea that “strategic philanthropy” in some form promises significant improvements in the quality of giving.

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Beyond the Veneer of Strategic Philanthropy

This article discusses strategic philanthropy. While many foundations have developed strategic plans, few have made the internal changes necessary to actually behave strategically.

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Building Sustainable Cities through Blended Capital

A Program of Study and Case Analysis on The Kresge Foundation’s Social Investments Practice in Detroit. This case study examines strategies to confront the interconnected web of complex issues facing cities and their residents as they address income inequality and reimagine a sustainable Detroit.

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Conversations with Remarkable Givers

Conversations with Remarkable Givers is an unprecedented collection of more than 1,200 video clips, drawn from 50-plus interviews with philanthropists and foundation leaders. Interviewees discuss important components of philanthropy such as how they involve family and choose which causes to support, and how they work with grantees and measure results.

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Leveraging Limited Dollars: How Grantmakers Achieve Tangible Results by Funding Policy and Community Engagement

Leveraging Limited Dollars provides solid evidence of the impacts of foundation-funded policy advocacy, community organizing and civic engagement based on findings from the seven research sites. The report explains why these strategies are successful and how they create stronger communities.

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Staying the Course: How a Long-Term Strategic Donor Initiative to Conserve the Amazon Has Yielded Outcomes of Global Significance

This article examines how the design principles of a major philanthropic initiative have influenced its performance, and provides a practical example of strategic philanthropy that can contribute to the current debate over the merits and flaws of this approach.

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Strategic or emergent: why are we stuck in the swimming pool?

Responses to John Kania, Mark Kramer and Patty Russell’s ‘Strategic Philanthropy for a Complex World’, published in the summer issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, have come largely from the US and from people who write regularly about philanthropy. Many of them have focused on the way consultants behave and how they interact with foundations and non-profits – in other words, the philanthropy system. We would like to broaden that debate and in doing so to leave the swimming pool and venture out into the sea.

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Systems Grantmaking Resource Guide

The Systems Grantmaking Resource Guide will help all social change leaders push the envelope further on developing systems change capacities while exploring practical ways to facilitate systems change. It brings together an overview of the systems approach and mindset with a promising set of resources, tools, frameworks, and methods for understanding and influencing systems. Co-created with Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Resource Guide advances the conversation about how philanthropy and the broader social sector can better adopt a systems approach to solving today’s most daunting problems. Explore the interactive website and download the guide

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