You thought making the money was the hard part…
The decision to practice philanthropy can be the first step on a journey filled with more than its fair share of joy, gratitude and hope; “doing good” can and should “feel good.” Nothing wrong with that.
At the same time, deciding to practice philanthropy thoughtfully means setting out across strange waters. Consider that with an investment portfolio, there is, sooner or later, a reckoning stated in terms of terms of profit and loss. There is, in other words, a “bottom line.” At any given time, you know how you are doing, where you are.
With a grant portfolio, things are less certain. We are usually chasing some fuzzy thing called “making a difference” or “social impact,” and then there are emotional, spiritual and moral returns to consider. Such things are hard to articulate, difficult to achieve and challenging to measure.
How We Can Help
Philanthropy must be more than merely strategic. It has to have soul. We help donors address those pesky “philosophical” questions that get to the heart of who they are and aspire to be as philanthropic agents of social change.
We help donors implement the principles of “strategic,” “data-driven” or “outcome-oriented” philanthropy in ways that embrace rather than frustrate the charitable impulse that ought to animate our work in the social sector.
We develop grant portfolios infused with the intelligence and personality that characterize inspired family philanthropy, assisting donors with pre-grant due diligence, post-grant evaluation and grants management.
Positively giddy over the Virginia Cavaliers once-every-thirty-five-year-run to the Final Four, I cannot resist saying a little something about college hoops. You will likely think that I am forcing a pass into the low post here, but it really is my contention that you can learn more than a little about systems thinking by watching
Identifying what you care about It may seem strange to some that this is even an issue: How can we not just know what we care about? The issue here is one of precision. Sure, we can have a vague sense of wating to ‘do good’ for some target population; but, once you begin to
Recently, I was cheered to discover my nephew playing a hand-held version of the generation-defining game The Oregon Trail, a game I first played on the Commodore 64 (or maybe the Apple II? Have I sufficiently dated myself?). The objective of the game is straightforward enough: get yourself and your traveling companions from Independence, Missouri
Fair question(s). It cheered me recently to read good answers provided by Ann Carrns in the Wealth Special Section of the March 22, 2018 Sunday New York Times: When It Comes to Donating Money, Whom Do You Trust? It looks like her article is not behind the paywall; but, even if it is, you should probably be subscribing
If the “right side” of a logic model is concerned with impact, the left is concerned with efficiency. One way to think about efficiency is to see it as a matter of eliminating waste from a system, whether in the form of wasted materials, money or, perhaps most insidiously, time. There are a number of
This book, by Caroline Fiennes, was given to me by someone in the philanthopy game whom I very much respect right when I was starting to take the idea of philanthropic strategy seriously. It has never been out of reach since. In my previous post, I worry that I may have come across as somewhat