Adaptive philanthropy: Flexible giving to maximize results
Individual donors and family foundation CEOs, boards, and advisors with an interest in the practice of adaptive philanthropy.
Most families engaged in shared philanthropy aspire to change the world—that’s why you commit your time, energy, and focus to this important work. But many families don’t feel they have appropriate behaviors and tools to maximize the impact of their giving – situations change rapidly, and new challenges are always on the horizon. Adaptive philanthropy requires a wholesale shift in thinking and doing.
Adaptive philanthropists seek to stay true to a strategic direction while remaining aware of their external environments, flexibly responding to uncertain economic and political situations, measuring results, and adapting their philanthropy based on the latest available data. Join us for this exciting conversation with representatives from the Bridgespan Group based in part on their new research initiative on adaptive philanthropy with Stanford Social Innovation Review, as well as on the experiences of family foundation leaders that have embraced the adaptive philanthropy approach.
Susan Wolf Ditkoff is a partner in the Boston office and co-Head of the Philanthropy Practice for The Bridgespan Group. Her work has focused on three primary areas: effective philanthropy, public education, and infrastructure issues such as leadership, capacity building, and governance.
Susan co-authored “When You’ve Made Enough to Make a Difference” (Harvard Business Review, 2011) and "Galvanizing Philanthropy" (Harvard Business Review, 2009), which explored how philanthropists can increase their impact by getting clear about defining success, getting real about what it takes to create change, and getting better over time. Most recently, she co-authored “Philanthropy in the New Age of Government Austerity.” She has also co-authored four related op-eds in the Chronicle of Philanthropy: "The Hard Truth: Philanthropists Need to Get Real to Make Lasting Change," “For the Gates-Buffett Challenge to Work, It Takes More than Money,” “For Better Results, Philanthropists Need to Meddle Less and Collaborate More,” and “Private Donors Must Help Government Do More With Less,” as well as two case studies on high-impact philanthropy (Tiger Foundation) and education strategy (Expeditionary Learning Schools / Outward Bound: Staying True to Mission).
She has been cited as an expert by The New York Times and Reuters, and speaks frequently at the Council on Foundations and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Association of Small Foundations, and the National Center for Family Philanthropy, as well as for private groups of philanthropists. Her writings have been reprinted in national and international publications. In 2011, she initiated Bridgespan’s first philanthropy blog and Twitter campaign (#30DayDonorChallenge).
Rachel Garbow Monroe began her term as President of the Weinberg Foundation in February of 2010. Monroe joined the Foundation in 2005 as the organization’s first Chief Operating Officer. During her tenure at the Foundation, significant changes have taken place including retention of a new team of more than 25 professional staff to execute the work of the Foundation as well as the creation and launch of: Weinberg Foundation’s Annual Community Gathering (more than 900 guests attended last year); Israel Mission Alumni Scholars Program (including more than 400 leaders, mostly from the State of Maryland); Annual Employee Giving Program (last year, Foundation employees made $180,000 in grant recommendations which were awarded at a special luncheon for the nonprofit grant recipients); and Maryland Small Grants Program (which has granted more than $13 million to several hundred Maryland nonprofits during its first five years).
Jeffrey Solomon is the former president of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies (ACBP). A widely recognized expert on philanthropy, he has written more than 120 articles on the subject for professional and popular audiences, and has taught it at New York University. He has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including the Council on Foundations, where he chaired the Committee on Ethics and Practice; been chief operation officer of the United Jewish Appeal Federation in New York; and he is a founding trustee of World Faiths Development Dialogue. One of ACBP’s most innovative launches was The Gift of New York, a program aimed at helping families who had lost a loved one during the tragedy of September 11, 2001, by making available to them the hundreds of arts, cultural, and sports venues as a way to begin a healing process
What participants said:
Excellent, candid insights offered by peer practitioners who are exploring important ways of thinking differently about our work.
Great advice on how to talk about "new ways" with more traditional family members
Susan Ditkoff was excellent.