Four Pathways to Greater Giving

FavoriteDespite their aspirations, ultra-wealthy American families donated just 1.2 percent of their assets to charity in 2017. To help them achieve more with their philanthropy, The Bridgespan Group, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, explored what impedes giving to social-change efforts and how four pathways could potentially double the flow of funding to initiatives that could benefit millions.

Do More Than Give

FavoriteTo create lasting social change, it’s not enough to award funding to great grantees. Donors must become active participants in the change effort. The book, Do More Than Give, outlines six practices that are found across high-impact foundations, corporations, and individuals of all sizes and budgets. Download a free copy of the first chapter here.

Fusing Arts, Culture and Social Change

FavoriteThis report outlines compelling demographic, aesthetic and economic reasons for foundations to rethink their grantmaking practices to stay current with changes in the cultural sector and to continue to be relevant to the evolving needs of our communities. Regardless of its history or primary philanthropic focus, every foundation investing in the arts can make fairness and equity core principles of its grantmaking.

Strategic Communications for Influence: Lessons From the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Its KIDS COUNT Initiative

FavoriteThe Annie E. Casey Foundation is using the KIDS COUNT network in a new way: as a strategic communications tool in its focused efforts toward policy change, broad social change, and improved conditions for vulnerable children and families. Grantee activities surrounding the release of the 2008 KIDS COUNT Data Book led to the quantity and quality of media that Casey believes will help achieve its desired outcomes. Relationships with journalists, use of locally relevant information, use of locally relevant media advocacy strategies, good preparation, and a solution orientation were present in states demonstrating desirable media coverage.

Philanthropy, Evaluation, Accountability, and Social Change

FavoriteThe author argues that many foundations have substituted process accountability for accountability for contributing to social change. Accountability in terms of required reporting is important, but it sets a floor, not an aspirational ceiling. There are tools — such as risk analysis, systems approaches, and game theory — that can help philanthropy engage in work on complex social problems that cannot be deconstructed into a series of small, linear projects.