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Learning to Ride the Wave: Adaptive Business Modeling for Philanthropy-Serving Organizations

September 2019

Developed by The Giving Practice (TGP) in partnership with United Philanthropy Forum and Northern California Grantmakers, this guide shares seven practices and 12 tools for philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs) who seek effective ways to mobilize resources to sustain their organization’s work. 

The guide features perspectives from dozens of leaders of national and regional PSOs and examples from TGP's work with these organizations. Much of the content is based on conversations and strategy work with PSO leaders, staff and board members.

Commissioned to help you take on the business side of the work, it’s based on consulting that The Giving Practice has done with a range of PSOs as well as interviews we’ve done with dozens of PSO leaders. We are seeing more and more leaders working on their business models successfully—and happily! Despite having some of those same negative feelings about business models to begin with, they’ve grown to feel confident about this part of their work, even enjoy it.

They’re discovering practices. They’re building skills. They’re trying tools. They’re creating experiments. They’re experiencing progress. They’re learning to ride the wave.

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