Impact Strategies & Tools

Translating Your Philanthropic Objectives Into Action

How will you use your resources to achieve your purpose?

At its core, grantmaking brings your objectives to life to create good for others. Your philanthropic strategy is the roadmap to achieve your desired social impact.

Philanthropic Families Partnering with Community Foundations

Community foundations can be a trusted resource and partner to philanthropic families. They help families solve practical issues such as geographic dispersion and can provide deeper support around issues such as community problem-solving and family succession planning. This NCFP Featured Search provides a range of examples of these partnerships. Know of other good resources to include here? Please let us

Advocacy and Lobbying

This Content Collection features a series of guides and resources on advocacy and lobbying from Learn Foundation Law, a free first-of-its-kind resource for private and family foundations, as well as NCFP webinars and other resources on advocacy grantmaking strategies. Also included is research on the rate of return on investing in advocacy strategies, as well as case studies of a

Leveraging Small Grants for Big Impact

The great American writer Vernor Vinge once said, “Even the largest avalanche is triggered by small things.” What Vernor is saying is that even the smallest things can be hugely impactful. There are so many colloquialisms for this truth in the English lexicon: ripple, domino, snowball, chain reaction, the parable of the mustard seed, etc. As a grantmaker, no matter

Taking Risks and Learning From Mistakes

Philanthropy is often described as society’s “risk capital.” This NCFP Content Collection provides context for how generous families can assess philanthropic risk, tame and mitigate risk, and even expand their comfort zone to embrace uncertainty and learn from their mistakes. Know of other good resources on this topic? Please suggest a resource.

Discretionary Grants

If you asked at a gathering of family foundation folks whether using discretionary grants is a good idea, you’d never reach consensus. Many family foundations don’t use them. Those that do have widely varied policies governing how much money is available, who is eligible to make the grants, and whether the grants must be within the foundation’s mission and guidelines.

Disaster Philanthropy

Natural disasters occur with disturbing frequency. Family philanthropists are often on the front line in responding to them. Strategic disaster-related giving requires an understanding of the nuances of the disaster life cycle, from risk reduction through long-term recovery, and the timely planning of gifts that make the most of available resources, cut down on duplication of efforts, and offer more