The Future of Philanthropy
Posted by Allison Fine on July 22, 2010
The Monitor Institute released a new report, What’s Next for Philanthropy. Lots of good, thoughtful stuff here. A few of the highlights:
- Great context setting for this report and discussions of how philanthropy has to change with this statement: philanthropists operate today in a stressful, rapidly evolving, networked, and interdependent world.
- The report provides specific tools and steps for foundation to use, like selecting the right tool out of the toolbox for the right context, to create larger impact. Foundations have a large toolbox that includes more than money but also knowledge, networks, expertise, and influence.
- Was glad to see Cynthia Gibson’s really smart analysis from Funder Collaboratives: Why and How Funders Work Together the different ways that foundations can align their efforts with one another. These include a shared 1) an interest (learning networks), 2) a common frame for looking at the problem (strategic alignment networks), or 3) a common vision of the solution (pooled funds).
Naturally, I was drawn to the section on activating networks. And I hate to say it, but was a bit disappointed with just a paragraph on the Packard Foundation’s recent efforts to fund and study networked effectiveness. This is a great effort, but I was a little disappointed not to see more content on social media. In particular, content from Lucy Bernholz’ really smart analysis from her paper, Disrupting Philanthropy, on the impact of digital technology on the future of grantmaking would have been great.
I share the passion that the folks at Monitor have that we are on the cusp of great, new things in philanthropy. I shared my thoughts on the ways that social media are changing philanthropy with the Nonprofit Times this week. A few highlights:
- Social media is blurring the lines between inside and outside for all organizations, including foundations;
- Senior executives at Foundations, like Terri Lee Freeman at the Foundation of the National Capital Region, are using social media to have conversations directly with grantees and other constituents;
- Taking advantage of crowds of really smart, passionate people to solve problems.
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