Inside Philanthropy

I’ve been readings a blog called Inside Philanthropy recently. The author is Todd Cohen, editor of Philanthropy Journal, an online newspaper published by the A.J. Fletcher Foundation.

Todd’s been talking about a lot of topics relevant to the discussion here.

Measuring Impact:

By engaging their entire organization in a culture of measurement, using simple and practical tools to track progress, and sharing results within the organization and with constituents, partners, funders and the public, nonprofits can better equip themselves to advance their mission, secure the resources they need, and improve the way they operate and serve clients.

Giving Circles:

Giving circles represent important new charitable options for women, African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, young people and others whose giving traditionally has been outside that of mainstream philanthropy…

(But) Giving circles also can too focused on donors, creating challenges for charities to figure out quickly how to work with a mix of personalities and deal with donors who want to take a hands-on approach to their giving.

To add value where they most want and need it, giving-circle donors and charities must better engage and understand one another.

Overhead Expenses:

Overworked, underpaid and under constant pressure to raise money, operate effectively and make a difference, nonprofits need more funds to pay for expenses like rent, administrative salaries, technology and training.

Foundations need to loosen their purse strings, paying out more of their assets in grants and allocating more of those grants and grant dollars for operations.

And nonprofits need to do a better job showing their need for overhead funding and pushing foundations to provide it.

Philanthropic Capital Markets:

Creating a marketplace that connects donors and nonprofits, community foundations are enjoying the most rapid growth in organized philanthropy…

If they can operate effectively and openly, and engage nonprofits and donors in an inclusive and responsive marketplace for the exchange of philanthropic resources, community foundations can serve as a hub for civic engagement and charitable giving to address critical local needs.

One Comment

  1. Funny…I left a comment on Tod’s website about his post regarding measuring impact, but he never put it up. So, I’ll leave it on yours. My comment was that foundations can play an important role is this area by making investments designed to help their grantees develop the capacity, as well as know-how, to collect, track and analyze data they need to determine whether their programs are producing the desired outcomes.