Ch 5: Understanding Problems, Their Causes, and Approaches to Solutions

Understand the problem you’re trying to solve through your giving, so you can support the right sorts of nonprofits.

Having articulated a focus area, you may be tempted to jump right into finding organizations that operate in that space. However, nonprofit organizations may deploy very different approaches to solving social problems, and it’s helpful to begin with a good understanding of the problem you’re trying to solve through your philanthropy. This chapter covers two vital questions:

  • How can I define the problem that I’m trying to solve to generate a good range of solutions?
  • What types of approaches can I fund that might solve the problem?

This Collection

Stanford PACS Guide to Effective Philanthropy

The aim for this book is to simplify the components of effective philanthropy. The Guide has two major parts. Part One lays out a series of personal considerations that will help shape your philanthropic strategy. Part Two delves into the tactical practices of philanthropy to help you deploy your resources most effectively.

See Collection

Get Involved

Search Knowledge Center for Resources!

We’re here to help you on your philanthropic journey. Contact NCFP for support!

Get Assistance

Keep up with trends in family philanthropy. Subscribe to our newsletter!


Family philanthropy improves the quality of life for all. Join our family!

Join Now