Contributions

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

Succession Planning and Family Transitions

Posted on December 8, 2020

hand giving set of keys to another hand - succession, passing the baton, transition
Change is inevitable and can be especially complex in family philanthropy. There are a number of questions to explore to ensure the success of a collective giving effort. What are the anticipated moments of transition? What are the plans to navigate accordingly? Who is best suited—and prepared—to lead the family philanthropy effort moving forward? Is there a clear plan for… Read More

What If? The Art of Scenario Thinking

Posted on December 3, 2020

Scenario thinking is a powerful tool for organizations of any size and scope. It can be used to address the complex challenges of large global organizations, as well as those of smaller community-based groups. This guide by the Global Business Network is primarily for leaders of nonprofits and foundations. They are responsible for long-term strategy development; they are well positioned… Read More

Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2017

Posted on April 13, 2018 by Lucy Bernholz

Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2017 is an annual industry forecast about the ways we use private resources for public benefit. Each year, the Blueprint provides an overview of the current landscape, points to major trends, and directs your attention to horizons where you can expect some important breakthroughs in the coming year… Read More

Leveraging Small Grants for Big Impact

Posted on December 14, 2017 by Kenji Treanor, Patricia Douglas, Shirley Fredricks, Carmela Castellano-Garcia

Domino effect. Snowballing. Chain reaction. Ripple effect. Reverberation. There are plenty of ways to describe this simple truth: small actions can have big results. This webinar will feature the stories of foundations that have created out-sized impact with their relatively small grants. Whether it’s health care, education, or the environment, the foundations and funds featured in this webinar have harnessed… Read More

Policy Changes in the Pipeline: How Will New Proposed Legislation Affect Family Giving?

Posted on November 9, 2017 by Jay Hutchins, John Mullaney, Sandra Swirski

Tax reform and policy changes are complex topics to understand. How can proposed tax reform affect the work of your foundation? What policies about charitable giving should giving families know about and consider? Are there steps giving families can take to prepare? Join John Mullaney, the Executive Director of the Nord Family Foundation as he interviews: Sandra Swirski, Executive Director… Read More

What should my foundation consider when reviewing a request for a capital grant?

Posted on June 14, 2017 by National Center for Family Philanthropy

While capital grants are technically just one aspect or component of a robust grantmaking strategy, there are a few questions and considerations that are unique to capital grants. There are campaign considerations like a strong fundraising strategy, building considerations like effective design, and evaluation processes. The Eckerd Foundation has provided their guidelines and a discussion paper as an sample model as… Read More

Should our foundation focus on being “strategic” or “responsive” in our grantmaking?

Posted on June 9, 2017 by National Center for Family Philanthropy

When your board approves a grant, you are hoping and expecting that your philanthropic investment will make a significant impact. In order to become an effective grantmaker, your giving should always align with the core beliefs of your foundation. Beyond this, there are two common approaches that boards take when considering how to allocate the foundation’s resources: strategic or responsive. … Read More

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