Category Archives: Foundations

Reader Suggestions for Next Hewlett President

Paul Brest, president of the Hewlett Foundation, comments on my post yesterday: “I am not taking any part in the search for my successor as president of the Hewlett Foundation, but if I were on the Foundation’s search committee I would welcome ideas from readers of Sean’s blog.” Below is the list of people suggested […]

Discussing Hewlett President Selection: Presumptuous?

I’ve gotten lots of fascinating suggestions from readers of potential candidates to replace Paul Brest at the Hewlett Foundation. But first I want to discuss some pushback I’ve been getting from people who believe we shouldn’t even be having this discussion (to be clear, I’ve received no such complaints from anyone at the Hewlett Foundation). […]

Paul Brest to Retire From Hewlett

Paul Brest, the president of the Hewlett Foundation and author of Money Well Spent has announced he will be retiring in 2012. Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows that Paul and I don’t see eye to eye on some core principals of philanthropy. However, I think that Paul embodies a number […]

Increasing Philanthropic Impact Through Criticism

In his guest post about the lack of criticism in philanthropy creating a failure of the information markets needed to create impact, Tony Wang demonstrated how infrequently guest authors on this blog are critical of foundations. This theme resonated with a  number of readers who share Tony’s concern that a culture that avoids criticism of […]

External Accountability in Philanthropy

It takes self-discipline to stick to a workout schedule and get in shape. However, research shows that one of the best ways to stick to your plan is to voluntarily create external accountability by getting a “workout buddy” to go to the gym with you. While both of you might feel like skipping the gym […]

Lack of Criticism in Philanthropy Causing Failure

This is a guest post by Tony Wang, a current JD/MBA candidate at Duke University and former philanthropy researcher at Blueprint Research & Design, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Stanford University. By Tony Wang Every sector, including the nonprofit sector, needs transparency AND a healthy marketplace of ideas to combat corruption and inefficiency; […]

Foundations as Catalysts for Collaboration

This is a guest post by Jacob Harold, who leads grantmaking for the Philanthropy Program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. By Jacob Harold These days, if a nonprofit manager says that their organization can solve a social problem alone, they’re likely to get quizzical—if not dirty—looks. After years of isolated activity, most nonprofit […]

Adaptive Philanthropy

This is a guest post by Susan Wolf Ditkoff, a partner at Bridgespan and co-leader of the firm’s philanthropy practice. Susan also writes Bridgespan’s Give Smart blog. By Susan Wolf Ditkoff Decisions in philanthropy are sometimes painted in terms of false dichotomies – either you’re thoughtful and strategic, or you’re whimsical and opportunistic. But in […]

Collective Intelligence in Philanthropy

This is a guest post by Eugene Eric Kim of Blue Oxen Associates. Eugene works with organizations to help them develop collaborative strategies. His past clients include NASA and the Wikimedia Foundation. By Eugene Eric Kim Recently I spoke at the GEO Learning Conference on collective intelligence. My focus is on collaboration, but thanks to […]

Big Foundations & Effective Government Spending

My last post on the way that large, private foundations are dropping the ball by not participating as intermediaries in the Social Innovation Fund (and my worry that they’ll opt out of Pay for Success as well) triggered a number of responses that I’d like to respond to: “Is one reason for them to avoid […]