Walking Around Philanthropy


Philanthropy411, in partnership with the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by Mary Galeti, Vice Chair of the Tecovas Foundation.

By:  Mary Galeti

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of “walking around philanthropy”.  It infers more than just being involved in your community.  It involves being an integral part of your community – being fully invested, visible, and accessible in your community.  It also means listening, asking for help when you need it, and including everyone in the decision making process.

It’s unfortunate how often we end up staying in our offices, and limiting our interaction with our grantees to an annual site visit.  We are getting so much better about talking with each other, but how much better can we be about involving more voices in the dialogue.  That’s, as people, how we learn.  Being fully invested in the work we do feels so good – so why don’t we do more “walking around philanthropy”?  Why do we base so much of the work we do on reporting and metrics.

Those are valuable tools, but at the end of the day, they are some of the weakest tools at our disposal.  They make us less passionate, less engaged and less connected to the communities that we are a part of.

Kris is a sought after philanthropy advisor, expert and award-winning author. She has helped over 90 foundations and philanthropists strategically allocate and assess over half a billion dollars in grants and gifts.

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