Is there such a thing as a New Donor? Are young, wealthy, new to philanthropy donors approaching things in an entirely new way? I think there is some validity to that argument, but I think that there is a cultural shift going on that sweeps across age, wealth and every other demographic metric. That cultural shift is rooted in concepts like accountability, transparency and effectiveness. These concepts have already made headway in politics and business.
Yesterday the San Francisco Chronicle profiled Gap founder and philanthropist Don Fisher. The headline reads, “Gap founder Don Fisher gives generously, expects results for his personal, political agendas”. Some excerpts:
At 78, Fisher is one of the nation’s biggest political donors. In the Bay Area, he and his wife are known as philanthropists who give generously, selectively and privately – and expect results…
"Don and Doris want to see an outcome, to see the benefit for the community," said Rob Connolly, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, where Don Fisher has been a board member for nearly 44 years….
"Don doesn’t just put his name on the letterhead and sign a check," Connolly said. "He’s at meetings. He’s challenging me to find ways to expand. I think he looks at philanthropy in the same way he did the Gap: He wants to make it successful, to make it grow. And Doris is equally committed."
You can read the whole article here.