Social Compact In A Changing World: How Philanthropies are Grappling with Growing Scrutiny and Critique
Throughout Europe and the U.S., many are pushing back on what they perceive as an inappropriate influence on public policy by private funders and questioning the power dynamic that enables wealthy private funders to impose their solutions to social and environmental problems without being required to involve the affected communities. Even the pundit world reveals this critique, with the subtitles of recent books speaking volumes: The Elite Charade of Changing the World of Anand Giridharadas’ Winners Take All, and Why Philanthropy is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better of Rob Reich’s Just Giving.
Globally, the rise of populism, discontent, and illiberal tendencies have led to accusations that philanthropy is being used as a tool to further a political agenda or consolidate power. Moreover, foundations that engage with socially and politically sensitive issues often find themselves targets of campaigns to delegitimize their work, philanthropic intent, and funding sources.Read more
Power, Influence, and the Limits of Maps: A Response to Yehuda Kurtzer
Originally published in eJewish Philanthropy.
In his article, “‘The Establishment’ Has No Clothes: The New Jewish ‘Influence Economy,’” the always brilliant and thoughtful Yehuda Kurtzer raises intriguing points and does the Jewish communal world a great service by calling attention to the fact that the way we too commonly discuss our communal structures is woefully out of date.
I’d like to add a few angles to this conversation about the “economy of power,” without which our understanding of that new reality will be incomplete.Read more
Death of the Middleman: How Jewish Philanthropy is Changing
In a keynote address to the 2019 LIFE & LEGACY/Create a Jewish Legacy Leadership Gathering sponsored by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and The Jewish Federations of North America, JFN President & CEO Andrés Spokoiny discusses the "disintermediation of the world": the removal of "middleman" functions in all aspects of life—including philanthropy, where centralized communal giving has been challenged by the rapid growth of independent philanthropy. This trend brings both problems and opportunities.Read more
The Philanthropy Framework (by RPA)
Across the world, philanthropy is undergoing a rapid transformation that offers both exciting opportunities and complex challenges. As a more unified global culture around giving and social investment emerges, new players, vehicles, strategies and approaches are creating commitment, enthusiasm and optimism. Yet shifting attitudes toward philanthropy, intense debates about power and effectiveness and difficult operating environments require philanthropists and social investors to demonstrate their value to a wide range of stakeholders. And, as many philanthropies broaden their activities from grantmaking to impact investing, knowledge-building, advocacy and coalition-building, they face the need to change how their organizations assess and allocate non-financial resources. With so much in flux, emerging donors and established funders are seeking new models not only for funding strategies and impact measures, but also for organizational design and management systems that will serve them well into the 21st century. Leaders are asking how philanthropies achieve impact as institutions, not just as sources of funding. In response to this surge of interest, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors developed the Philanthropy Framework, a tool to give an emerging or established philanthropy (whether in the form of a foundation, trust, funder collaborative, LLC, donor-advised fund or direct giving) a structure to align resources for maximum impact.Read more
Engaging Generation Impact: Best Practices for Families
The co-authors of Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors Are Revolutionizing Philanthropy, Michael Moody and Sharna Goldseker, have developed a practical guide for family philanthropy’s next gen givers: the members of “Generation Impact.”Read more
Independent Funders and Federations: Bound Together and Bound to Change
[This essay is part of a series from leaders in the field of Jewish philanthropy, who will offer reactions and analyses to Jack Wertheimer’s report, Giving Jewish: How Big Funders Have Transformed American Jewish Philanthropy, commissioned and released earlier this year by The AVI CHAI Foundation.]
“Each generation doubtless feels called upon to reform the world. Mine knows that it will not reform it, but its task is perhaps even greater. It consists in preventing the world from destroying itself. Heir to a corrupt history, in which are mingled fallen revolutions, technology gone mad, dead gods, and worn-out ideologies, where mediocre powers can destroy all yet no longer know how to convince, where intelligence has debased itself to become the servant of hatred and oppression.”
— Albert Camus, Nobel Prize acceptance speech, 1957
The Next Generation of American Giving: The Charitable Habits of Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers, and Matures
Key findings include:
- Fewer Americans give;
- Giving is distributed across more channels than ever before;
- Baby Boomers remain the most generous generation, and the number of Boomers saying they give is increasing;
- Generation X is on deck…and there are way more Gen X-ers than you think