Measuring the Helpfulness of Foundations' Social Media for Grantees

September 12, 2012

While not all grantmaking institutions view grantees as a primary audience for their social media—and even those who do don’t necessarily share the same goals—our latest research sought to address a very basic question: Are grantees using their foundation funders’ social media? In 2011, the Center for Effective Philanthropy surveyed more than 6,000 grantees about […]

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Is a Mandatory Payout for Donor Advised Funds on the Horizon?

September 5, 2012

How many ofour readers have money in donor advised funds (DAFs)? If you are one of those readers, you may soon be hearing a lot more about a mandatory 5% annual payout. That’s because earlier this summer, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report concluding that, like private foundations, DAFs should have a mandatory […]

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Strategic Philanthropy Demands Data-Driven Decision Making

August 22, 2012

If you are a philanthropist or responsible for funding decisions, you have no doubt faced difficult choices in these tough economic times. Rates of poverty and unemployment are soaring while health outcomes and educational attainment are slipping. Faced with shrinking funding portfolios and skyrocketing community needs, the use of data can help drive decision-making. Over […]

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The Need for Philanthropic Champions of Transparency

August 15, 2012

Even if it might be uncomfortable for institutions used to operating at a relative distance from public scrutiny, several public benefits might be realized by increased foundation transparency. As Vikki Spruill, the new leader of the Council on Foundations, noted in one of her first official communications to the Council’s membership, institutional philanthropy faces “its most […]

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Connecting Communities Through Technology

July 18, 2012

For many, data can be a static representation of a demographic, geography, numbers or figures. But what would it look like if information was interactive? Many organizations and companies are working to create better and better interactive data gathering and mapping platforms. For nonprofits, foundations and other organizations in the business of changing the world, […]

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Let's See Some Identification

June 27, 2012

As I read Monday’s Supreme Court decision on Arizona’s anti-immigrant law and the various analyses that followed it in preparation for a press conference, I was suddenly struck by how much I missed my former career as a civil rights lawyer. Here in print was proof of the role lawyers, Congress and the courts play […]

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A New Narrative for Corporate Philanthropy

June 20, 2012

A well-respected colleague and I recently had a troubling conversation.   While we agreed that we are entering into a new era of corporate philanthropy, we found ourselves in a circular conversation with no shared platform to speak from about our differing strategies to achieve the triple bottom line impact. Following a year-long strategic initiative, The […]

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A Side Order of Philanthropy

June 6, 2012

What happens when you bring a group of friends together for food or drinks and add a side dish of philanthropy?  You build communities at the grassroots level and from there the possibilities are endless. In the last decade, giving circles have sprouted up across the nation among donors of all backgrounds and income levels.  […]

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Private Foundations – The Best Laid Plans? – Part 2

May 10, 2012

  In my last post, I addressed why private foundations are appealing to many donors who want to formalize or advance their personal philanthropy.  What many donors don’t consider before creating one, however, are the costs that come with this seemingly flexible solution.  These unanticipated costs lead many private foundations to fail over time. Here […]

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Private Foundations – The Best Laid Plans? – Part 1

May 9, 2012

One of the wonderful things I love about Los Angeles is our entrepreneurial spirit. Whether that means opening a café selling locally roasted coffee or providing consulting services to help contractors build more energy efficient homes, Angelenos have a desire to fill niches, innovate, and build better mousetraps. This entrepreneurial spirit often extends to our […]

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