Why Am I Always Being Researched?

Posted on August 30, 2021 by Chicago Beyond

In this publication, Chicago Beyond offers “how” we can begin to level the playing field and reckon with unintended bias when it comes to research. This guidebook was created to help shift the power dynamic and the way community organizations, researchers, and funders uncover knowledge together. It is an equity-based approach to research that offers one way in which we… Read More

Demystifying Decision Making in Family Philanthropy

Posted on June 10, 2021 by Ann Shulman

This Passages Issue Brief examines the kinds of decisions that family foundations often face and sets out practical, easy-to-apply guidelines for ensuring that the foundation’s decision-making methods vary appropriately, as conditions and circumstances change. It includes factors to consider when selecting a decision-making method, guidance on how to communicate clearly, simple tools to help make good decisions, and short case… Read More

Decision Making when Founders are Present

Posted on June 9, 2021 by Ann Shulman

This is an excerpt from Demystifying Decision Making in Family Philanthropy. Founders accustomed to making their own decisions in a business setting may bring unilateral decision-making to the foundation, often using it inappropriately. Founders may think of the foundation as “theirs” and feel impatient with or dismissive of group decision-making. At the same time, they genuinely want family members to… Read More

Strategy and Evaluation: The Twin Engines of Effective Philanthropy

Posted on January 8, 2021 by S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

This essay provides a fast-paced tour of grantmaker approaches, launching with the advent of long-range planning in the 1980s and visiting scenario planning, social return on investment, human-centered design, big data, and other developments that have influenced practice. The author lands on strategy and evaluation as the anchor approaches that will fuel greater philanthropic impact in the new decade. This… Read More

Impact, Measurement, and Evaluation

Posted on December 7, 2020 by Kat Athanasiades, Lisa Spalding, Phil Buchanan

Impact is often an elusive concept in philanthropy. What is the most effective way to monitor grants? How do families define and measure success? What is the burden on grantee partners and how might it be mitigated? Successful family philanthropies employ a formative framework for impact that typically involves a process to define the sought-after change, an alignment of grantmaking… Read More

Trends 2020: Foundation Giving

Posted on November 19, 2020

This excerpt from NCFP’s Trends 2020 study shares data and analysis regarding various US family foundation giving trends, including payout rate, influences of giving decisions, discretionary grants, and much more. Family foundations must make choices around the size, number, and focus of their grants. They also have choices around how much they payout annually, the types of grants they make, and how… Read More

Leading with Love and Gratitude: The David Rockefeller Fund at 30

Posted on August 4, 2020 by David Rockefeller Fund

The David Rockefeller Fund charts its history with a fascinating look into the evolution of the family and its philanthropy. The Fund’s history reflects the fact that change is inevitable and necessary, but must be rooted in the values and legacy of the family. The family’s recognition of this positions them for long-term success, encouraging them to remain flexible and… Read More

Catalytic Change: Lessons Learned from the Racial Justice Grantmaking Assessment

Posted on June 11, 2020

The Applied Research Center (ARC) and the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE) developed the Racial Justice Grantmaking Assessment following ARC’s 2004 publication of Short Changed: Foundation Giving in Communities of Color. That report documented, as recent reports have confirmed, decreasing grantmaking with clear racial justice impacts, as well as decreasing support for organizations led by people of color. As… Read More

Grantmaking with a Racial Justice Lens: A Practical Guide

Posted on June 11, 2020 by Rinku Sen, Lori Villarosa

Movements have grown in their intersectionality, their sophistication and reach and many nonprofits and organizers have been actively contributing to their gains as well as being pushed themselves. Many funders and philanthropic infrastructure organizations have taken on the language and principles of racial equity in their changing practices. Yet so much work remains, so many inequities continue to be exacerbated… Read More