New Philanthropic Practices and the Changing Environment for Philanthropy

I’m at the Investors’ Circle conference all day yesterday and today so I just have a quick post.

The Aspen Institute’s Nonprofit Sector Research Fund has a new grantmaking initiative called An Evolving Field: Research on New Philanthropic Practices and the Changing Environment for Philanthropy. They are trying to “develop new knowledge that encourages strategic philanthropy in response to social and technological changes.”

One of the four grantees is Angela Eikenberry, Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech for her research into giving circles that I highlighted last December.

Alan Abramson, director of the Aspen Institute’s Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program said:

A number of forces are likely to change philanthropy in the future: an increase in the number of high net-worth individuals, greater involvement of donors in their philanthropy, accessible and powerful communications technologies that accelerate information-sharing and collaboration across great distances and organizational boundaries, and continued calls for philanthropy to be accountable and demonstrate impact.

I couldn’t agree more.

…I’ll be posting a podcast with Daniel Ben-Horin of CompuMentor/TechSoup about their NetSquared project tomorrow. Next week, I’ll be back to regular posting and I’ll have a thing or two to say about Holden Karnofsky (see post here) and Lucy Bernholz’s (here) recent posts about foundation payout rates. I find Lucy’s post to be particularly troubling as her argument calls into question whether foundations’ are engaging in any public benefit beyond their role as a pass through entity to other nonprofits or social enterprises.