Impact-Driven Philanthropy

While the focus of the Raikes Foundation’s work is young people, our society has many pressing issues and causes that need to be addressed urgently with long-term solutions and philanthropic support. Yet many donors lack access to high quality resources or advice to guide their generosity. That’s why we've created the Impact-Driven Philanthropy Initiative—to help more donors give more dollars to do the most good. 

Over the next 50 years donors will contribute nearly $20 trillion to nonprofit organizations. This presents an enormous opportunity to make progress on pressing social issues and to solve some of our greatest challenges. While most donors indicate that they want to make donations that will have an impact, very few research an issue or organization before contributing. If donors aren’t making informed, intentional investments, we squander opportunities to have transformative impact.  

The Impact-Driven Philanthropy Initiative was created because we believe the social sector can do more to help donors who want to give well. Though most giving comes from individuals, most of the resources for understanding social impact are targeted to professional staff in large foundations. We hope to unlock that knowledge, and bring what we know about how to make an impact to donors who are hungry to contribute to lasting, meaningful change.

In the summer of 2017 we launched the Giving Compass which aspires to curate the world’s best information to help donors hone in on a strategy to give well. The Giving Compass is just the first step in our initiative to help donors on a journey to impact-giving. Visit the Giving Compass.

  • Partner spotlight

    Giving Compass

    America has a long-standing tradition of generosity. As a nation, we contribute nearly $400 billion each year to issues and causes. Though we often think of large foundations when we think about philanthropy, more than 70 percent of giving in this country is directed by individuals writing checks or giving online. 

    Among individuals, most (85 percent) say they care about the impact of their gifts, but only 32 percent conduct research online, and only 9 percent  compare organizations. At the same time, our nation is anticipating the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in our history, and expects up to $60 trillion will be passed along to heirs and some $20 trillion will be given to nonprofits over the next 50 years. 

    This generosity presents an enormous opportunity to make progress on pressing social issues and solve some of our greatest challenges, but if donors aren’t making informed, intentional investments, we will squander this chance. We see an exciting opportunity to direct more of these donations to make faster and deeper progress on issues and in communities. 


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    Partner spotlight

    Giving Compass

    America has a long-standing tradition of generosity. As a nation, we contribute nearly $400 billion each year to issues and causes. Though we often think of large foundations when we think about philanthropy, more than 70 percent of giving in this country is directed by individuals writing checks or giving online. 

    Among individuals, most (85 percent) say they care about the impact of their gifts, but only 32 percent conduct research online, and only 9 percent  compare organizations. At the same time, our nation is anticipating the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in our history, and expects up to $60 trillion will be passed along to heirs and some $20 trillion will be given to nonprofits over the next 50 years. 

    This generosity presents an enormous opportunity to make progress on pressing social issues and solve some of our greatest challenges, but if donors aren’t making informed, intentional investments, we will squander this chance. We see an exciting opportunity to direct more of these donations to make faster and deeper progress on issues and in communities. 


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To give away money is an easy matter and in any man's power. But to decide to whom to give it... is neither in every man's power nor an easy matter." — Aristotle

– Aristotle

Illustrative Grants

Social Venture Partners International

Social Venture Partners International is a philanthropic network that cultivates effective philanthropists, strengthens nonprofits, and invests in collaborative solutions in order to tackle pressing social challenges.

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Faces of Giving

This grant supports Faces of Giving’s work to deepen the field’s understanding of high net worth donors of color, their needs, behaviors, and interests.

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The Philanthropy Workshop

The Philanthropy Workshop provides strategic philanthropy education to a growing network of philanthropists with the goal of inspiring individuals and families to give better.

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Stanford PACS | Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society

This grant supports Stanford PACS to develop and share knowledge to improve philanthropy, strengthen civil society, and effect social change.

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