Should Foundations be “All-In” on their Charitable Missions?

What would our world be like if charitable law required foundations to invest all of their assets in ways consistent with their charitable missions? This important question was recently posed by Mark Finser, chairman of RSF Social Finance. Most likely, our world would be a much better place. Charitable foundations exist for one overarching purpose:…

Five Questions Every Nonprofit Donor Should Ask

Donors wishing to contribute their time and treasure to nonprofits face a vast array of choices. After all, there are more than 1.6 million nonprofit organizations in the United States that would be delighted to accept their resources. The challenge for donors becomes how to make the right match. In order to make the best…

Strategic co-funding expands the impact of giving

Philanthropists from families, foundations and businesses are asking, “Can’t we accomplish more by working collectively instead of in silos?” In “Strategic Co-Funding: An Approach for Expanded Impact,” a new report published by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and REDF, the authors assert, “Strategic co-funding is a key way grantmakers of all types and sizes can expand…

Next generation of donors committed to philanthropy

With $41 trillion expected to pass by inheritance to NextGen heirs in the coming decades, people are asking, “What’s going to happen to that wealth?” and “Will young people be as philanthropic as their elders?” The answer appears to be that young people are committed to philanthropy and will indeed quickly carry the torch and…

Corporate citizenship efforts pay off for U.S. businesses

When asked “Does business act responsibly?” 70 percent of Americans answered “yes” in 1968. By 2011, the percentage had dropped to 10 percent, according to a Yankelovich and CNN/USA Today Gallup Poll. Given recent revelations about outsourced fire-hazard sweatshops and megabank billion-dollar fraud settlements, it is doubtful that percentage has risen since then. In light…

Meaningful Philanthropy Can Be the Legacy You Leave

How many people can you name who lived 100 years ago? Including politicians, scientists, artists, inventors, historical figures and our own ancestors, many of us struggle to name even three dozen. How many of the 314 million Americans or 7 billion planetarians will be remembered 100 years from now? Very few of us will be…

Giving 10% of your holiday spending to charity could make a world of difference

Americans will spend an average of $750 per person on gifts for family, friends and colleagues in this upcoming holiday season, an increase of 4 percent over 2011. Predicted overall holiday spending will exceed $550 billion. Starting at Thanksgiving and continuing through December, most of us will gather to observe religious, cultural, historical and secular…

Impact Investing: putting your money where your values are

More than ever, investors are pondering, “Am I destroying with my left hand what my right hand is trying to save?” Trillions of dollars are invested by millions of Americans in stocks and mutual funds, banks, and retirement funds like IRAs and 401(k)s, seeking to generate significant financial returns. Most of these investors are philanthropic,…

What’s love got to do with effective philanthropy?

The term “philanthropy” is a combination of two ancient Greek words: “philos” meaning “love” in the sense of caring for, nourishing, developing and enhancing; and “anthropos” meaning “human being” in the sense of our common humanity. A philanthropist is a person who expresses love of humanity through charitable efforts. Every year, hundreds of articles are…

Social enterprises use market forces for good

Many nonprofit organizations have made innovative social enterprises part of their daily operations to help them achieve their mission while creating sustainable sources of income to fund programs. Social enterprises don’t eliminate the need for charitable donations but, rather, supplement donations and grants by creating predictable revenue streams while serving the broader mission of the…