Posts Tagged ‘Tactical Philanthropy’

A guest post on Tactical Philanthropy this week elaborates on the rise in women’s philanthropy that we discussed in our May 18th postSarah Hall of New Philanthropy Advisors outlines “six principles of high-engagement womens philanthropy”.  We particularly like #3:

“Women are willing to start at the beginning, allowing their energy for the mission to propel them through the earliest learning stages. They become deeply engaged in the process of learning, are willing to be perceived as novices, and tend to be open not only to ideas, but to getting things done in unconventional ways.”

We recommend reading the full post at Tactical Philanthropy, and be sure to check back soon for more posts on this theme.

Read Full Post »

Associated Press writer Josh Funk reports on Peter and Jennifer Buffett’s NoVo Foundation, detailing their commitment to empowering women, collaborating with other groups to achieve their goal and the incorporation of Warren Buffett’s business ideas to philanthropy.

Peter Buffett will be a speaker at the upcoming Global Philanthropy Forum 2009 Conference in Washington, DC, April 22-24.

Full article: Peter Buffett’s foundation gives millions to girls

Read Full Post »

According to Peter Singer, a professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, the ordinary American has an obligation to the world’s poor. He suggests that for the first time in history we, as individuals, are in a position to end extreme poverty.  He spoke here at the Council last week on this, and, as Tactical Philanthropy points out today, on Colbert Nation last night!

In his new book, The Life You Can Save, Singer argues that our current minimal response to poverty is ethically indefensible.  Quoting a NY Times article from Tuesday, Singer lays out his argument as such:

“First premise: Suffering and death from lack of food, shelter and medical care are bad.

Second premise: If it is in your power to prevent something bad from happening, without sacrificing anything nearly as important, it is wrong not to do so.

Third premise: By donating to aid agencies, you can prevent suffering and death from lack of food, shelter and medical care, without sacrificing anything nearly as important.

Conclusion: Therefore, if you do not donate to aid agencies, you are doing something wrong.”

To reject this argument, Mr. Singer writes, “you need to find a flaw in the reasoning.”  He goes on to offer practical ways to tackle global poverty through philanthropy, local activism and political awareness.  To listen to his talk at the Council last week, click here.

Read Full Post »

Tactical Philanthropy has a great post today inspired by a creative article Jacob Harold (of Hewlett Foundation) wrote for Alliance Magazine about what philanthropy can learn from farmer’s markets.

Jacob argues that we need to reframe the way we think about markets, for “If markets fail the private sector, why should they work for civil society?”

Sean Stannard-Stockton at TP sums up Jacob’s lessons for philanthropy in four points :

  • First, and most critically, farmers’ markets offer open information.
  • Second, buyers at farmers’ markets are focused on finding value for money.
  • Third, farmers’ markets offer simple, intuitive infrastructure that enables smart, safe transactions.
  • Finally, farmers’ markets offer a culture of frank friendliness.

Sean concludes, saying, “Jacob does us a great service by evoking the image of the Farmer’s Market to remind us that the core principals of markets is not financial derivatives, overpaid executives and excessive debt, it is people coming together to exchange those things which they value dearly.”

A thought provoking essay as our understanding and appreciation for the word ‘market’ continues to shift in this difficult financial climate…

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

There’s an interesting discussion going on at Paul Brest‘s Strategic Philanthropy blog on The Huffington Post.  He and colleague Sean Stannard-Stockton of Tactical Philanthropy are discussing Paul’s 8 point framework for strategic philanthropy.  The main point of contention at this point centers around the validity of using a static “theory of change” in the dynamic, ever-changing social landscape in which philanthropy operates.

We look forward to a lively exchange on all sides – between Paul and Sean, and from reader contributions to the discussion.

Read Full Post »