Category Archives: Foundations

Large Foundations Dropping the Ball on Government Programs

The Social Innovation Fund and the proposed Pay For Success program both depend on strong “intermediaries” to work. With the Social Innovation Fund, the government is providing funds to grantmaking organizations, which then use the money to support “subgrantees” (direct service nonprofits). In the Pay For Success program, the government would contract with an intermediary […]

Becoming the Best Possible Philanthropist

I’ve long advocated for foundations to embrace impact focused transparency. While many people want foundations to be more transparent for the sake of accountability, I just think that foundations should share more as a way to achieve impact. In the wake of the Japanese disaster, charity rating organization GiveWell is demonstrating how impact focused transparency […]

The Energy Foundation: A Major Speed-Freak Grantmaker

In my recent post on speed-freak philanthropy, I cited two small foundations (Mulago and Philanthropic Ventures) for their rapid grantmaking. One of my points was that the slow grantmaking process of most foundations was due to self-imposed constraints rather than anything inherent. So I was thrilled to see the comment below left by Jason Ricci, […]

Clara Miller to lead F.B. Heron Foundation

Clara Miller is the founder and CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund. She has written extensively on how and why the nonprofit sector is undercapitalized. Clara is one of the most articulate advocates for philanthropy to provide growth capital to nonprofits. It was while he was at Clara’s Nonprofit Finance Fund that George Overholser published […]

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 […]

Theses About Foundations

This is a guest post by Albert Ruesga, CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. It is a shorter version of a post he wrote for his personal blog. You can read the full post here. By Albert Ruesga …with apologies to Martin Luther: The foundation world is filled with many people of good will […]

Philanthropy Predictions: Giving in 2033

This is that time of year when people offer predictions for what will happen next year. Instead of just focusing on 2011, Lucy Bernholz, philanthropy’s resident futurist, has offered her thought for the next decade which you can read here. Following Lucy’s lead, I thought I offer my own predictions long term projection, so I’m […]

New Smart Money Award Winner

Back in April, I wrote about the Smart Money Award concept that an ad hoc team I was part of had thrown together during a Monitor Institute meeting. The concept won first prize at the informal idea contest and so our team decided to make the Smart Money Award real. I described the award in […]

Shock & Awe Philanthropy

Last year, Mark Kramer of FSG Social Impact Advisors defined the term “catalytic philanthropy” in a Stanford Social Innovation Review article. Mark wrote: “For most donors, philanthropy is about deciding which nonprofits to support and how much money to give them. These donors effectively delegate to nonprofits all responsibility for devising and implementing solutions to […]

Glass Pockets: A Revolution in Foundation Transparency

“We think the foundation should have glass pockets.” – Russell Leffingwell, Chair, Carnegie Corporation, 1952 Hot on the heels of rolling out real time tracking of foundation grants in support of Haiti, the Foundation Center has quietly launched a new project with the whimsical name Glass Pockets. With a mission to “bring transparency to the […]