U.S. Foundation Funding for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Infrastructure 2004–2015

FavoriteThere are an estimated 10 million non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide. If NGOs were a country, they’d have the fifth-largest economy in the world.¹ The nonprofit sector in the United States alone contributed more than $930 billion to the economy in 2014.² Given the volume and complexity of civil society organizations around the world, a substantial ecosystem of support organizations have emerged over time to enable, strengthen, and evolve their work. These support organizations, also known as “infrastructure organizations,” provide essential services such as strategic planning; evaluation, assessment, and feedback; board and staff development; data and research; legal services; business modeling; and support Read more

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Muslim Philanthropy

FavoriteThere is general agreement that we don’t know as much as we’d like to know about Muslim philanthropy, a phenomenon broadly defined as giving ‘of any kind, which involves self-identifying Muslim individuals, institutions, communities, and societies as key agents’. This lack of knowledge is remarkable given that Muslims comprise almost a quarter of the world’s population, and give around $1 trillion per year according to some estimates. In the new issue of Alliance magazine, out on 4 September 2018, guest editors, Tariq Cheema and Yunus Sola, argue that the potential of Muslims to contribute to the well-being of humanity would be greatly Read more

Categories: History, Role in Society, Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation 

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The State of Global Giving by U.S. Foundations

FavoriteThis report represents the latest in a decades-long collaboration between Foundation Center and Council on Foundations to regularly analyze the data and trends on international grantmaking by U.S. foundations. In addition to a detailed analysis of funding trends by issue areas, regions, population focus, and strategies, this report also relates these trends to key events and developments during the time period, such as the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Ebola crisis in West Africa, the reversal of the global gag rule, and the increasing legal restrictions faced by civil society in countries around the world.

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The Alliance magazine June 2018 issue – Philanthropy’s Developers

FavoriteThis issue is devoted to philanthropy’s developers – the people, organisations and networks central to the growth and development of philanthropy worldwide. Whether that’s data and research, advice and consulting, training, advocacy or representation, there’s an essential and vibrant but under-appreciated eco-system of philanthropy support worldwide. In our special feature, Alliance editor, Charles Keidan and guest editors, Benjamin Bellegy and Maria Chertok offer a new and change-oriented vision for the future development of the field. The feature includes views from leading funders about why infrastructure matters, as well as discussion of the impact of tech, and the need for better data, collaboration and Read more

Categories: History, Role in Society, Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Organization Learning and Evaluation 

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State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey 2018

Favorite NFF’s State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey is a major national effort that captures and shares real-time financial and operational data in a sector where data remains dangerously scarce. Launched in 2009, it quickly filled a gaping need, becoming a collective megaphone for nonprofits and a crucial evidence base for a wide array of sector funding discussions. Today, the Survey has grown to thousands of respondents and hundreds of distribution and outreach partners. The 2018 Survey represents quantitative and qualitative responses from nearly 3,400 nonprofits of all sizes and missions, across 50 US states. Sharing our Survey data widely and Read more

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2015-2016 Global Resources Report

FavoriteFunders for LGBTQ Issues and Global Philanthropy Project are pleased to present the 2015-2016 Global Resources Report: Philanthropic & Government Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Communities, a comprehensive report on the state of foundation and government funding for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) issues. This report captures data on 12,964 grants awarded by 511 foundations, intermediaries, and corporations and by 15 government and multilateral agencies over the two-year period of 2015-2016. It provides detailed data on the distribution of LGBTI funding by geography, issue, strategy, and population focus, offering a tool for identifying trends, gaps, and opportunities in the rapidly changing landscape of LGBTI Read more

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Thrive at Five: The Secrets of Long-Term Family Philanthropy

FavoritePassages Issue Brief — Exploring Issues in Family Giving If you are a newer family foundation with one or two generations on the board, five generations may seem like a long time away. Yet in family philanthropy, quite a few foundations have been operating and thriving for 50, 75, even 100 years. What’s the secret of these family philanthropies that make it five generations or more? How do they stay united over time, over generations, and across family branches? How do they successfully attract and engage younger family members? These long-time family foundations share their secrets for making it to five Read more

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The Alliance magazine March 2018 issue – Diaspora philanthropy

FavoriteIn this March 2018 issue of Alliance, we look in-depth at the phenomenon of diaspora philanthropy. With increasing numbers on the move, new ties are being formed between peoples, nations and states across the world. While most attention has focused on remittances – the act of sending money from one place to another – we shine a light on the philanthropic dimensions of diasporas worldwide. The perspectives of contributors from Africa, India, Pakistan, Kashmir, Ireland and Palestine, to name a few of the places you can read about in this issue, reflect the truly global nature of diaspora giving. While Read more

Categories: History, Role in Society, Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Organization Learning and Evaluation 

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11 Trends in Philanthropy for 2018

Favorite 11 trends: 1. Giving More by Giving Together: The Johnson Center’s W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair Jason Franklin has conducted significant research on collaborative giving, including as part of a research team that recently released a report on giving circles. He anticipates seeing the growth of more democratized and diversified philanthropy. Franklin said giving circles and other collaborative giving groups have tripled in number since 2007 and that number is expected to grow. 2. Next Gen Donors and the “Golden Age of Giving”: Gen-Xers and Millennials with the capacity for making major gifts will likely become the most significant generation of philanthropists Read more

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Bold Ideas for Philanthropists to Drive Social Change

FavoriteCHIP published a guide, “Bold Ideas for Philanthropists to Drive Social Change,” that highlighted its 11 “best bets,” aka ideas and organizations that were not semifinalists for the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change grant competition but are doing especially impactful work. Analysts from CHIP looked at nearly 200 applications that were not semifinalists and eventually narrowed that list to 81 and then 11 applications.

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Grantmaker Response to State Fiscal Crisis

FavoriteIn an effort to better understand the philanthropic landscape, we at the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy circulated a survey asking members if and how they are responding to the state’s fiscal crisis. We had a strong response to this survey, with about 30% of members completing it. Thanks to all of you who took time out to provide input about your foundation. Results: State Fiscal Crisis Survey At this time, about 25% of respondents are currently responding to the fiscal crisis. The vast majority of these grantmakers are responding with increased grant support to non-profits. Some grantmakers, about 33%, are Read more

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Is Grantmaking Getting Smarter?

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

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Youth Advisory Council Databook

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

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

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

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Shifting Winds: Foundations Respond to a New Political Context

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

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

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

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Moving Philanthropy from the Margins to the Center

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

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Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2017

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

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11 Philanthropic Trends for 2017

FavoriteTo 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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The Future of Foundation Philanthropy: The CEO Perspective

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

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Alliance Magazine – #ShiftThePower: the rise of community philanthropy

FavoriteGuest 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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#ShiftThePower: the rise of community philanthropy

FavoriteIn 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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The State of Philanthropy in Oregon

FavoriteThe State of Philanthropy in Oregon (factsheet) – October 2016

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What influence does philanthropy exert?

FavoriteArticle featured in the September 2016 issue of Alliance magazine. 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 Read more

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Philanthropy and the Renewal of Democracy

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

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

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

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2015 Trends Study Results of the First National Benchmark Survey of Family Foundations

Favorite The National Center for Family Philanthropy engaged the Urban Institute to design and conduct a nationally representative survey of family foundations. The study creates a profile of family foundations documenting the current number, size, age, assets, and giving levels of family foundations across the nation. This groundbreaking survey provides a baseline for tracking trends in family philanthropy over time.

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Should we be afraid?

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

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1st Annual Report on America’s Giving Style

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

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Interview with Carol Civita, Brazilian philanthropist

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

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The Future of Jewish Giving

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

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The Future of Family Philanthropy – Predicting and Preparing

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

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Next Gen Donors Report

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

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Why funding research is not enough

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

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New horizons

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

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Global ‘next gen’ trends

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

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

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

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

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

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Trends in Global Philanthropy Among U.S. Foundations

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

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Philanthropy: Are We a Profession? Should We Be?

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

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