effective philanthropy blog
winter 2013 cover This is the first of two blog posts on a recent article in Stanford Social Innovation Review entitled “Embracing Emergence: How Collective Impact Addresses Complexity” by John Kania and Mark Kramer of FSG.

Since their important article in the spring 2011 issue of Stamford Social Innovation Review on collective impact, John Kania and Mark Kramer of FSG have further clarified the elements of successful cross-sector coalitions addressing complex social issues.  In this most recent article on the topic, Kania and Kramer focus on one such element in particular:  Emergence.

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monumentToday’s guest post comes to you from Elizabeth Murphy, president of Leadership Fairfax.

I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership in effective philanthropy in this fast-changing world. Who is showing us the way in terms of personal giving?

In the DC area, we don’t have to look far to find philanthropist David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group. He has done tremendous and effective giving in our area – notable examples include the National Archives, the Kennedy Center (he funded the new organ in the Concert Hall and an expansion to the building), the National Park Service for the restoration of the Washington Monument after the earthquake, and to the Smithsonian. I’m impressed by the specificity of his gifts, and by his quick and enthusiastic nature – he clearly loves giving his money away, and I love hearing what his latest project is going to be. The institutions that have been the recipient of his largess are surely fortunate, and, no doubt, there are hundreds more waiting for his return phone call.

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Giving 2.0This is the seventh and final post in a series reviewing the book “Giving 2.0“ by Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen (Great Giving LLC, 2012)

Beyond the collective giving models, there is yet another trick in the bag of involved donors – the unique ability of philanthropists to advocate for change and to influence public policy.

Philanthropy itself can only go so far to address complex social issues. The government, business, civic, and philanthropic sectors all have a role to play. Governments are often the largest single funders of a cause. Their funding decisions, legislative power and impact on the economy can directly shape action and reframe debates. So why limit your activism to philanthropy? If you have committed to a cause and grown to understand the forces that shape it, you can become an advocate for positive change.

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Giving 2.0This is the sixth post in a series reviewing the book “Giving 2.0“ by Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen (Great Giving LLC, 2012)

Today’s donors are far more involved in their philanthropy than at any other time in our Nation’s history. Therefore, models of philanthropy that promote giving together andlearning from each other are growing in number and importance. Two models of collective giving, namely, venture philanthropy and giving circles, are thoroughly discussed in Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen’s “Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World.”

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Giving 2.0This is the fifth post in a series reviewing the book “Giving 2.0“ by Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen (Great Giving LLC, 2012)

No book on “Giving 2.0” would be complete without discussing social entrepreneurship – start-up businesses that seek to develop social – not financial – gains. Since the 1990’s, social entrepreneurship has repeatedly proven the concept that market based models of corporate development can be used to solve complex social issues as well.

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Giving 2.0This is the fourth post in a series reviewing the book “Giving 2.0“ by Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen (Great Giving LLC, 2012)

A 2010 Hope Consulting study shows that while 85% of American donors say that nonprofit performance is “very important” in their giving decisions, only 35% actually conduct research before writing the check. And of the donors who say they conduct research, only 5% actually use it to assess the quality of the nonprofit they’ve chosen to support.

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Giving 2.0This is the third post reviewing the book “Giving 2.0“ by Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen (Great Giving LLC, 2012)

Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, the author of “Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World,” encourages charitable giving through donor advised funds and thoughtfully describes the advantages of using your local Community Foundation for this purpose. For example: 

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Giving 2.0This is the second post reviewing the book "Giving 2.0" by Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen (Great Giving LLC, 2012)

Effective philanthropy is a continuous process of learning, reevaluation, and renewal. Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, the author of "Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World," knows this well. Her book is replete with useful recommendations to add structure to philanthropic giving – to "chart a course" for success.

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Giving 2.0This is the first post reviewing the book “Giving 2.0“ by Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen (Great Giving LLC, 2012)

Drawing on lessons from her own extensive experience and from the inspiration of her mother’s life, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, the author of “Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World”, has written a very personal manual on how to give well.  After fifteen years of hands on philanthropy, Arrillaga-Andreessen has discovered one clear, consistent truth:  Passion isn’t enough.  Feeling good in the moment isn’t enough.  Personal philanthropy will evolve from reactive to proactive only when knowledge, research, goals and sound strategy form the backbone of your giving.

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Give SmartThis is the final post reviewing the book “Give Smart: Philanthropy That Gets Results” by Thomas J. Tierney and Joel L. Fleishman (PublicAffairs, 2011). 

In the initial post about Give Smart we explored the three “terrible truths” of philanthropy, traps for the unwary, and the importance of defining values and beliefs. In the second post we examined determining what success looks like, emphasizing accountability, and investments of time, money and influence. Now we will continue with the final three major takeaways from this book: 

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