Reinventing Funding Partnerships: Conversation with Debra Jacobs & Sidney Hargro

Wednesday, June 19th at 11am Pacific time (North America), join us for the next episode in our series of conversations with experts and advocates for rethinking how social change is resourced and sustained – specifically as that relates to partnerships between funders/investors and the projects they support. To join in the conversation, watch for the … Read more

What Funders & Investors Really Think About Partnering

Something profound is keeping socially-minded investors and funders from the impact they sense is possible. In our upcoming Conversation series – starting next Wednesday (details below) – we are going to get past that “something profound,” once and for all. And we are going to start by talking about one of the most mis-used terms … Read more

What Do We Mean When We Say Partner?

When social change efforts use the word “partner” to describe their funders, saying things like, “We are seeking a partner to help fund this effort,” what does that say about us as organizations? And what does it say about our efforts to create a community that is whole and vibrant and healthy? Words contain so … Read more

Philanthropy's Highest Potential is to Disappear

Philanthropy may be defined ideally as “love of humanity,” but philanthropy as we know it is a perfect microcosm of our modern American capitalist economy: There is fierce competition for scarce resources (“This rejection of your proposal is not a reflection of the worthiness of your project.”). A person’s worth is determined by their wealth … Read more

There’s Plenty of Money, So Start Some Good.

“Money is a limited resource. We can’t fund everyone.” Those few words encompass the most insidious assumption at the heart of competitive grant-making and competitive fundraising. The “reality” created by that assumption is the source of all the fear and the overwhelming sense of scarcity that undergird this work, everywhere around the world. For years … Read more

Letter from Palestine #3

I am so pleased to share another letter from Nora Lester Murad. (To read this series from the beginning, please click here.) Nora lives with her husband and three daughters in Israeli controlled East Jerusalem, in Palestine’s West Bank. In addition to her consulting work to NGOs, Nora has co-founded Dalia Association, a community foundation … Read more

The Collaboration Prize is Self-Defeating

My heart just sank when I saw that the Lodestar Foundation is offering a $250,000 prize for the most worthy collaboration. Yes, it sank. Why does the sector that should know better continue to insist on treating organizational and sector-wide symptoms? If we know that symptoms-based approaches accomplish little more in our communities than sprinkle … Read more

Debunking "Accountability to Donors" – Finale

We accomplish what we hold ourselves accountable for. In wrapping up the past week’s rant about the issues related to Donor Accountability, I want to first share what triggered that rant. And then I want to share what we can do to hold ourselves accountable in a way that makes donors happy and, most importantly, … Read more