Category Archives: Cross-Disciplinary Conversations

Valuing the Future: Discount Rates in Philanthropy

One of the most basic financial tools is the concept of present value. The present value concept simply assumes that value received in the future is worth less than the same value received today. You can see this dynamic working if you think about whether you would rather be given $100 today or be given […]

Speaking at New Profit’s Gathering of Leaders

Next week I’ll be in Miami speaking at New Profit’s Gathering of Leaders. While I’ve often focused on New Profit’s “investing in nonprofits” approach to grantmaking, they also have an “Action Tank” that works to strengthen the ecosystem for social entrepreneurs and the environment in which nonprofit capital markets are being created. In 2007, New […]

Groupon’s Social Enterprise Pivot

Reader David Geihufe, who joined the debate around the Groupon as a social enterprise debate (part 1, part 2), points us to a recent TechCrunch post on the “pivots” of web companies. Joking that the word pivot has jumped the shark and should now only be used in mockery, TechCrunch illustrates the way web companies […]

Speed-Freak Philanthropy

Philanthropy tends to value deep thoughts, strategic plans, fidelity to process and careful monitoring. But there’s an underappreciated attribute that too few funders deploy even though only self-imposed constraints limit its usage. Speed. The world changes fast. Sometimes making the right decisions is all about thinking long and hard about your options. Other times the […]

The Era of Abstract Philanthropy

I visited the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco recently. I’m not very knowledgeable about art, but I always enjoy it when I take the time to pause and pay attention. In the abstract art wing, there were a ton of fantastic paintings, none of which made me want to say “my five-year-old could […]

An Important New Foundation Blog

(Disclosure: The Peery Family are clients of Tactical Philanthropy Advisors. We advise on a portion of their overall philanthropic activity and offered only limited input on their new blog.) This is the first time I’ve written a blog post about the activities of a client. But the Peery Foundation’s experimentation with Twitter was featured as […]

Explicit vs Tacit Knowledge for Impact

This is a guest post by Ian Thorpe. Ian writes the new blog "KM on a dollar a day". He has worked for over 20 years in the international development field and is currently Senior Information and Knowledge Manager with UNICEF. Ian’s blog is written in a personal capacity and does not necessarily represent the […]

Philanthropy’s Period of Rapid Innovation

One of the defining characteristics of a blog, that sets it apart from historical publishing models, is the conversational focus of the medium. If a “blog” just publishes items that talk about the author or their organization each day, that’s really just a newsletter. But when blog authors write about what other authors are discussing, […]

Billionaire: Pop Culture Aspirations & Philanthropy

Earlier this week I wrote about what web TV service Hulu tells us about changing demographic expectations around social engagement. So I thought I’d stay on the pop culture beat and talk about the hit song Billionaire. Earlier this week, Nathaniel Whittemore wrote about the changing meaning of “being cool”. His point was that while […]

The Hulu Generation

With the advent of streaming Netflix, Hulu, Google TV and Apple TV, the shift towards web delivered television is accelerating. In my home, we’re considering canceling cable now that 99% of what we watch is on Hulu or Netflix. Recently, I realized that my two young children didn’t have a concept of “live” TV. They’ve […]