Philanthropy Thought Leaders: Climate Change

In Philanthropy Thought Leaders: Hot Topics (June 24, 2019), we explained how our online feeds each day bring us a continual flow of "tantalizing information; ... "intriguing articles and writings with a "philosophical 'big-ideas' tone." That June post highlighted a few of them discussing the nature and future of philanthropy itself. In More Thoughts from Philanthropy Thinkers (July 23, 2019), we included selected Read More

A Sunsetting Foundation in Its Twilight Hours

In June 2017, in The “Sunsetting” Foundation: Trend of the Future? we wrote about the small but growing trend of foundations to “sunset”; that is, to choose to end activities and formal corporate existence by a certain date instead of going on “in perpetuity.”  When any corporation, for-profit or nonprofit, is formed, there is generally no mention at all of the duration of the entity. The default ending date for a Read More

What is Participatory Grantmaking: Part One

In Philanthropy Thought Leaders: Hot Topics (June 24, 2019), we included Rhodri Davies, a leading commentator on philanthropy, whose recent article for the World Economic Forum begins: “Philanthropy is at a crossroads…”  There are huge “challenges,” he points out, “…, including global climate change…,” technological advancement and disruptions, “shifting demographics and social trends [that] are changing our Read More

Philanthropists and Limited Liability Companies

Philanthropy in the United States is at a crossroads. After many decades of fairly static models of charitable giving, there is considerable innovation and change, particularly among the new generation of young tech billionaires. They are moving to alternative structures including donor-advised funds (DAFs) and limited liability companies (LLCs) to support their philanthropic activities.  While DAFs have been in the Read More

Philanthropy Pros: Priorities & Pain Points

“Is my organization normal?”  That’s one of the most common questions the philanthropy experts at BDO hear from organizational leaders. And because of the diversity in the sector - mission, scope, size - the matter of evaluating “performance to ensure sustainability” is a “perennial challenge" for these people in the trenches. For the last three years, BDO's Institute for Nonprofit Excellence has conducted Read More

More Thoughts from Philanthropy Thinkers

In June, we posted Philanthropy Thought Leaders: Hot Topics to highlight just a few examples of the useful and provocative commentary popping up regularly from expert observers and leaders of our sector.  Continuing on this month - and it may turn into a regular series - we present introductory tidbits and links to a few more worthwhile articles with a “philosophical ‘big-ideas’ Read More

What is Liberatory Philanthropy?

Recently, in the charitable sector, deep theoretical discussions have moved from the quiet dark corners of academia into the light.   According to Rodney Foxworth, executive director of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economy (BALLE) in Oakland, California: “The past year ushered in a new level of poignant and popular critique of the business of philanthropy, catalyzing widespread discussion and debate Read More

Ford Foundation Chief: Transform Philanthropy Now

“Philanthropy, honey, it’s time for an intervention.” - E. Villanueva When one of the philanthropic community’s most influential leaders, Darren Walker, head of the Ford Foundation, makes an impassioned call for change, it is newsworthy. And when Ruth McCambridge, the editor-in-chief of one of the sector’s leading publications, The Nonprofit Quarterly, writes that he “hits it out of the park,” that, too, is Read More

New Bills in CA Legislature on Crowdfunding, Other Hot Issues

In order to meet a deadline in the California legislature for introducing new bills to be considered in the current session, lawmakers hurried to file three items in late February 2019 of significant interest to nonprofit organizations. They cover three of the hottest topics in the philanthropy sector: crowdfunding, donor-advised funds, and community foundations. The bills on donor-advised funds (AB 1712) and Read More

MacArthur Foundation Launches New $100 Million Competition

In 2016, the world-renowned MacArthur Foundation took a huge leap of faith when it announced its bold 100&Change contest. The challenge for applicants: present a proposal to “solve one of the world’s most critical social challenges.” Who was eligible: any organization or collaboration “working in any field, anywhere in the world.” The prize: a $100-million grant. The project was more successful than even Read More