“Am I doing any good?” is a less straightforward question than “Am I making any money?” With an investment portfolio, there is, sooner or later, a reckoning stated in terms of terms of profit and loss- in other words, a “bottom line.” With a grant portfolio, we are typically chasing some elusive thing called social impact, and there are emotional, spiritual and moral returns to consider. Such things are difficult to achieve, challenging to measure and rarely lend themselves to rigorous quantitative analysis. This is where we can help.

Our Services


Our clients partner with us to 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.


Philanthropy must be more than merely strategic. It has to have soul. We help our clients to 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 develop grant portfolios infused with the intelligence and personality that characterizes inspired philanthropy, assisting our clients with pre-grant due diligence, post-grant evaluation and typical grants management functions. Front office or back office, we have you covered.

Newest Posts

Pack Line Philanthropy

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

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Four challenges to charitable decision making

Revealed in the December 2018 Chronicle of Philanthropy are the results of a study produced by Bank of America’s U.S. Trust Philanthropic Solutions group in partnership with the Indiana University Lily School of Philanthopy. The study looked at the giving habits of high-net-worth philanthropists and identified four broad challenges the wealthy cite to their charitable

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How not to die of dysentery on the Oregon Trail

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 Commoore 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

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What is it that you do, exactly, and why is it worth paying for?

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

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In defense of TPS reports (not really)

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

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It Ain’t What You Give, It’s The Way That You Give It

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

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