Tag Archives: featured

The Meaning of Mark Zuckerberg’s Philanthropy

Once upon a time, financially successful people spent the bulk of their lives working and then, after they retired, they would “give back” some of what they had earned in the form of philanthropy. Their largest philanthropic gifts were often made upon their death. Today, at least for the uber-successful, philanthropy is something you do […]

Deviant Philanthropy

The word deviant is such a strong cultural label that many people interpret it to mean something similar to evil. Calling someone “deviant” calls up images of illicit or extreme criminal behavior. But that’s not what deviance really means. Within sociology, the phrase deviance describes actions or behaviors that violate cultural norms. Since cultural norms […]

Exploring the Edge: Social Sector Ideas That Matter

  “I have always felt that the action most worth watching is not at the center of things but where edges meet. I like shorelines, weather fronts, international borders. There are interesting frictions and incongruities in those places.” Anne Fadiman The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down Today I’m happy to announce the re-launch […]

Next Steps for Social Innovation Fund: A Call to Action

This is my most recent column in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. You can find a full archive of my columns here. Lessons in Social Innovation: a Call to Action August 23, 2010 | Chronicle of Philanthropy Over the past few days, debate among nonprofit experts about transparency at the Social Innovation Fund has mushroomed into […]

Social Capital Markets Conference: Tactical Philanthropy Track

First of all, I want to extend a big thank you to everyone who helped me design the Tactical Philanthropy track at the Social Capital Markets conference. From the idea crowdsourcing we did earlier this year to the many conversations I had with members of the Tactical Philanthropy community, the final track design is very […]

The Second Great Wave of Philanthropy

My first blog post, in October of 2006, coined the phrase The Second Great Wave of Philanthropy. In the years since, I’ve used the phrase much less frequently primarily because if you were going to assign a “Wave Number” to philanthropy, we’re probably in wave 5.2 or some other number which better recognizes the multiple […]

Social Innovation Fund Announces Grantees

I’m thrilled with the Social Innovation Fund’s newly announced list of grantees. In many ways, the results read like my personal wish list for how I thought they should approach their decision. The Fund has announced 11 intermediary grantees, who will select subgrantees to receive the final funding. The full list is here. In the […]

The Ford Foundation’s Visualizations & Tactical vs. Strategic Philanthropy

The Ford Foundation has rolled out an excellent new website. The whole design is intuitive and helpful, but I especially appreciate their “grantmaking visualizations.” The grantmaking visualizations make clear the connections between the Foundation’s grants and their overall strategy. You can start at the Issue level, drill down to Ford’s Initiatives in each issue area, […]

Getting Results: Outputs, Outcomes & Impact

  Professional philanthropy, like all professions, has built a special language to describe its work. This sort of language can be used to more precisely discuss issues of importance to a field or it can be jargon that obscures meaning and serves to identify professionals to each other while excluding “outsiders”. Most donors, regardless of […]

Chasing Philanthropic Opportunities

The general framework of how money flows in the nonprofit sector is focused on the assumption that nonprofits need to chase donations. This is also how the business sector works; companies chase revenue. But investing is different. Investors often are the ones chasing the best investment opportunities. It is simply an issue of supply and […]