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Top Ten Philanthropy Resources: March part 1

Friday, March 11, 2016

Our top ten philanthropy resources from around the sector including why foundations should continue to fund successful projects, using transparency as a tool in your foundation's work, when and how foundations can act as a convener, and a call for foundations to take more risk.

  1. While undeniably different than their for-profit counterparts, Vu Le addresses the commonly held myth that nonprofits do not have clear outcomes. He argues nonprofits need to do better at communication what they are, funders need to provide the means to perform evaluations to clarify these outcomes, and everyone else needs to realize the complexities of nonprofit management and operation.  
  2. Foundations That Live In Glass Houses Shouldn’t... (Center for Effective Philanthropy)
    Weighing in on transparency conversations happening around the philanthropic sector, Jeff Kutash of the Peter Kiewit Foundation suggests a nuanced approach. Transparency should be conceptualized as a tool to reach real goals, not a goal in and of itself. 
  3. The Joy of Hanging In There (Stanford Social Innovation Review)
    Just as for-profit investment leads to doubling down when profits are up, funders should double-down rather than disinvest when they see the nonprofit impact is there. 
  4. With lessons learned as a caregiver to his wife, Henry Berman encourages funders to take the role of caregiver in their grantmaking. Take time to make visits, show encouragement, and offer support – it will make a world of difference to outcomes.
  5. Monisha Kapila, founder and CEO of ProInspire, sees the recent #OscarsSoWhite campaign as a crucial learning opportunity for nonprofits and philanthropy, particularly because of the white majority that dominates leadership in the field. These problems cannot be solved with a single action; there must be a collective, conscious effort to create a nonprofit workforce that reflects America’s workforce. 
  6. The Penny Isn’t Always Shiny and New (Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers)
    Tamara Copeland argues funders still need to support the tried-and-true, grounded-in-research initiatives that address issues the general media may no longer cover regularly. While AIDS and the approaches to fighting it are not new and exciting, they are just as valuable as the new, “shiny” problems and proposals that come across funders’ desks.  
  7. Kris Putnam-Walkerly suggests creating a brain trust to inform new work, facilitating real-time learning, connecting players in the field, and laying groundwork to make the most of convening. Time together should be strategic and clearly desired by potential attendees. 
  8. We Shouldn’t Be Batting 1000 (Philanthropy New York)
    Kevin Jennings of the Arcus Foundation argues foundations need to take more risks if they want to achieve real impact. While playing it safe will lead to success on paper, only taking risks on proposals will allow for the break-throughs foundations ought to desire. 
  9. Momentum Fellow Dalian Yates gives five recommendations to the philanthropic sector for the urgent response needed to address the atrocities systematically degrading the potential of black males. 
  10. Why We Must Stand Up for Overhead (National Center for Family Philanthropy)
    Katherine Lorenz, President of the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, calls for philanthropy to unite in favor and in defense of nonprofit overhead. Just as for-profit businesses are not expected to succeed without the crucial tools, non-profits should receive the same assumptions.