8 Silo-Smashing Trends in Philanthropy

This article was originally written and published for Exponent Philanthropy. Read the original post here. In my work as a philanthropic advisor, I come across philanthropy in all forms- from individual giving to institutional grantmaking and everything in between. It used to be that most of my clients engaged in their work from behind a wall of protection. Charity and grantmaking were held aside and in addition to other forces for good. However, over the past few years I’ve noticed philanthropy in all forms becoming less siloed and more interwoven with the world around it. Here are eight manifestations of this trend: 1. CEO branding. Foundation CEOs and high-net-worth donors, following in the footsteps of their corporate counterparts, are realizing the personal and … Continue reading 8 Silo-Smashing Trends in Philanthropy

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5 Keys to Establishing Trust

When it comes right down to it, being an effective philanthropist means establishing trust with the people you wish to help and the partners you’ll want and need to work with. It doesn’t matter whether that’s a sophisticated CEO of a nationwide organization or a hardscrabble leader of a struggling grassroots start-up. As human beings, we depend on levels of trust to guide us into new relationships and to see them through even when the going might get tough. And securing that mutual willingness to see things through in tough times is both the reason to establish trust and the reward for doing so. It may seem like a complex issue, but establishing trust really isn’t that difficult. As an … Continue reading 5 Keys to Establishing Trust

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6 Steps To Stave Off The Post-Summer Panic Before It Starts

Spring is definitely in the air! In between client engagements, I’m getting busy with finalizing summer plans – projects around the house, family vacations, camps for the kids – and I know that many of my clients and colleagues are busy doing the same. If this year is like many others before it, we’ll dive into hectic summer schedules and breathe a sigh of relief in September as we wave our children back to school. Then we’ll take a good hard look at the work we’ve yet to accomplish and feel a surging sense of post-summer panic. We all do it. That’s why I usually get a rash of calls in September about projects that must either expend budgets or … Continue reading 6 Steps To Stave Off The Post-Summer Panic Before It Starts

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When Tactical Trees Obscure the Strategic Forest

In my consultations with foundation boards, I’ve met many hardworking, well-meaning people who are often frustrated when they can’t seem to get anywhere in terms of foundation accomplishments and effectiveness. They say things like: “We tried funding that, but it didn’t work.” “We need to do some program-related investments.” “If we had a better email newsletter, people would understand what we’re doing.” “We should require a common budget form from all grantees.” To these board members, my first word of advice is, “You’re losing sight of the forest because you’re surrounding yourself with trees.” What I mean is, “You’re so focused on tactics that you’ve lost sight of your strategy. I can’t really blame them, of course. Tactics are easy … Continue reading When Tactical Trees Obscure the Strategic Forest

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