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

FavoriteThis 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.

Theory of Philanthropy Inquiry Tool

FavoriteSome 30 elements that can feed into a comprehensive theory of philanthropy represent a customizable tool for exploring the issues foundations face. A foundation can use the tool to gather data and perspectives about specific aspects of its heritage and approach; what is learned in addressing the elements can then be synthesized into a succinct and coherent theory of philanthropy.

Bringing grantmaking in from the cold

FavoriteIncreasingly, the practice of grantmaking as a tool for bringing about social change has fallen out of favour, replaced by newer, snappier-sounding forms of philanthropy. In laying out their wares, venture philanthropy, strategic philanthropy, philanthrocapitalism and, most recently, ‘catalytic philanthropy’ have all made claims for greater effectiveness.  

Corporate Giving Gets Smarter: ConAgra Foods Foundation Fights Childhood Hunger

FavoriteThis article captures the work from the ConAgra Foods Foundation and grantee perspective. It describes emerging dynamics in corporate social responsibility that influence corporate giving and articulate relevant lessons for organizational performance. Ultimately, consumer awareness and community action across the country are key to progress on the issue of childhood hunger in America. Along the way, savvy corporate funders and their colleagues will get farther faster on complex social issues with the use of potent tools and processes.

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

FavoriteThis 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.

Measuring the Impacts of Advocacy and Community Organizing: Application of a Methodology and Initial Findings

FavoriteA tool for measuring impact can reduce the barriers to funding advocacy and policy work. The tool draws upon the literature on evaluating advocacy and organizing, social capital building efforts, and return on investment approaches to evaluation. The tool was applied in two sites, where funders found it useful to understand advocacy impacts and learn how advocacy can enhance their grantmaking goals.