In the face of a rapidly changing policy environment that appears to sometimes question the values most philanthropists espouse (you know, things like justice, compassion, and honesty), it’s understandable if funders feel panicked, deflated, enraged, or all three simultaneously. Those are the emotions that many of my clients, from a full spectrum of political leanings, are sharing as they call me for advice on how to respond to the dramatic changes that are taking place our country. Regardless of one’s political beliefs, when everything seems to be in a state of upheaval (whether it’s federal policy or your own institutional politics) it pays to stop, take a deep breath, and stay focused on your mission. Here are 10 points to … Continue reading Keep Calm and Carry On (With Your Mission)
It’s the nature of philanthropy to want to help. It’s what foundations were created to do. Yet all too often, foundations, corporate grantmakers, and donors unintentionally cause problems instead of helping to solve them. Even with the best intentions, foundations take actions that are counter to the outcome they – and their grantees – hope to achieve. Here are five common examples: 1. Providing short term funding for a long-term outcome. Most funders are loathe to commit to any one organization or initiative for more than a year or two. (In fact, if foundations were people, we’d call many of them commitment-phobes and recommend therapy!) Even when foundations have long-term goals like closing achievement gaps in schools or improving drinking … Continue reading 5 Ways Foundations Cause More Problems Than They Solve
This is a guest post by Rusty Stahl, Executive Director of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP). It was originally published on April 26, 2012 on the EPIP website. Today marks an important moment in EPIP’s history — the launch of our Generating Change initiative. There are lots of bells, whistles and fanfare at our national conference as we celebrate this launch, but what does it really mean for funders? Simply put, it’s a chance to make your grantmaking more effective than ever. Here’s why: Foundations are only as effective as the nonprofits they fund. Those nonprofits, in turn, are only as effective as their leaders. Therefore, it stands to reason that when foundations make smart, strategic investments in nonprofit talent … Continue reading Time to start Generating Change!
Philanthropy411, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team. This is a guest post by Chanelle Gandy, Program Associate at The Funders’ Network. by Chanelle Gandy As a newcomer to philanthropy and Council On Foundations (COF), I departed the COF annual conference in Philadelphia with a renewed sense of purpose and urgency for my work. But what’s more, I sincerely enjoyed myself while interacting with some of the best and brightest practitioners our field has to offer. When I was employed in a different sector, I attended my share of conferences that weren’t so Millennial-friendly, as evidenced by low attendance by the “under 30” professionals, a clear lack of programming and networking receptions … Continue reading Reflections from a Millennial
Philanthropy411, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team. This is a guest post by Maisha Simmons, Program Associate at The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation by Maisha Simmons While attending my first Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) national conference in Philadelphia, I did not know what to expect. I figured it would be a group of eager, early career professionals trying to understand this world of philanthropy — how to find our path and make our mark. I found it to be all of that and more. I easily wove through sessions examining how to understand philanthropy, manage power dynamics, and think about creating social impact. Each session was more and more intriguing … Continue reading The Experiences of An Emerging Leader at National Philanthropy Conferences
Philanthropy411, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team. This is a guest post by Jorge Cino, Social Media Fellow, at the Levi Strauss Foundation. by Jorge Cino Note: You can access the first part of this post here, and the second part here. Throughout the recent annual conferences of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) and the Council on Foundations (COF), I noticed that grant makers are placing striking emphasis on how to communicate our stories in new and better ways. While many leaders are still (understandably) looking for ways to measure the impact of their organization’s social media efforts (Beth Kanter discussed this in a recent Philanthropy411 post), content quality remains a … Continue reading Bringing A Narrative Eye to Philanthropy – Part 3