effective philanthropy blog
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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Give SmartThis is the second of three posts that review 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. Here in today’s post are the next three major takeaways from this book:

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Give SmartThis is the first of three posts that review the book “Give Smart: Philanthropy That Gets Results” by Thomas J. Tierney and Joel L. Fleishman (PublicAffairs, 2011). 

Overview:  On average, philanthropy is … well …average. The current state of philanthropy is that it overhypes and underperforms. Market forces do not come into play, and the power imbalance between donors who have money and nonprofits who seek it can have a chilling effect on real time and useful feedback.Give Smart looks at what it takes to utterly transform this. Outstanding donors demand excellence of themselves and do not settle for mediocre results. They develop true and open partnerships with grantees and are not afraid of failure and the valuable lessons it can teach. They are clear about their values and beliefs and realistic about what they hope to accomplish. They have gone through the process of thoughtfully defining success and have a plan to achieve it. Most tellingly, donors who “give smart” continuously ask, “Am I getting better?” and consciously learn to improve over time.

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“The most interesting developments in philanthropy are trends in engagement.” - Patty Stonesifer, former CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

For many donors, writing a check directly to a nonprofit or stuffing envelopes isn’t enough. There is an interest in being more involved, either by being part of a grant process to determine where and how much money is given to certain nonprofits in a specific focus area or actually being involved in the day-to-day operation of a nonprofit and assisting in capacity building. Over the past seven years, I have taken an active role in engaging donors in both grantmaking and capacity building with nonprofits. Engaged philanthropy can be defined as the way in which donors serve in an active role either in grantmaking or with organizations and local leaders to meet community needs.

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ZipcareIf you’re anything like me, you don’t own CDs anymore because you buy single songs on iTunes. You get around using Zipcar andCapital Bike Share and your house is full of furniture from CraigsList and FreeCycle. Heck, I don’t even go out to eat or to the hair salon unless I’ve previously purchased aGroupon or LivingSocial deal. What I didn’t realize was that by taking advantage of all of these options, I am one of the millions of consumers who are contributing to the rise of the shared economy.

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SSLR Winter 2011This is the second of two posts on Collective Impact,” an article by John Kania and Mark R. Kramer from the Winter 2011 issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review.

The primary example of cross sector collaboration profiled in Collective Impact is “Strive”, a Cincinnati based initiative addressing education reform from “cradle to career.” Three hundred organizations initially agreed to participate in Strive across all three social sectors – government, corporate, and nonprofit organizations.  A core group of influential leaders from these sectors began to emerge, and over the course of three years (as of the date Collective Impact was written in the winter of 2011), student achievement in Cincinnati had improved across 34 of 53 success indicators.

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