Over at Tactical Philanthropy, Sean has sparked a great conversation about the role of foundations in driving social change. Instead of giving the post our own interpretation, we’ll just share the opening paragraph:
“Recently I’ve been consumed with thinking about the implications for philanthropy of a mindset where donors want to achieve a certain goal they think is valuable (such as provide mentors to low-income students) and then go looking for nonprofits to help them do this vs. a model where donors go looking for great nonprofits in a general focus area (education) and the nonprofit focuses on the tactics. In the first model, funders spend most of their time studying how social good is created. In the second model, funders spend most of their time finding and analyzing nonprofit organizations.”
Later in the post, Sean offers his own opinion on the matter:
“I am arguing that the goal of philanthropy should be that of a social capital market. A system for providing capital to nonprofit organizations. … I’m simply talking about a shift in emphasis from one in which foundations think of themselves as social impact engineers to one in which they think of themselves as social capital investors.”
While the post is thought-provoking itself, what has made it an even more interesting read are the comments that have been offered over the past week by leaders of foundations who are attempting to invest in the most effective manner in social change. We encourage you to read the post and the comments here.