Impact-Driven Philanthropy Collaborative
Philanthropy is a powerful force for social change, and individual donors direct the overwhelming majority of dollars given away each year in our country. Yet for all donors, there is always an opportunity to refine, learn, and transform how to give in order to support even greater results. Knowing this, the Impact-Driven Philanthropy Collaborative (IDPC) promotes thoughtful and intentional giving practices by convening representatives from the donor support ecosystem to strengthen the overall field. The Collaborative’s efforts focus on influencing donors in the top 5 percent of wealth holders, where giving has become increasingly concentrated. Though participation in giving is strong in this segment, the ways people are giving are not yet resulting in meaningful change on issues and in communities.
Supported by Raikes Foundation staff and others, this collaborative brings together key stakeholders in the ecosystem of donor support to think together about how we might influence more giving towards more impact. We believe transformative and inclusive impact comes when donors focus on equity, systems change, and effectiveness. Members come together to share, learn, collaborate, and identify opportunities for collective action that would support the full ecosystem.
Stakeholders in the collaborative include funders, donor education providers, donor organizers, researchers/academics who study donor behavior, consultants/advisors, philanthropy staff in private banks, public charities and intermediaries, and others. The Collaborative convenes as a full group bi-annually for one to two days, with some work happening between meetings.
Emerging from a vision launched by Jeff and Tricia Raikes in 2015, the IDPC started as a small group of funders held together by the shared belief that, while there is no one-size-fits-all model for social change, there are broad-reaching, guiding principles than can lead to more impactful giving. As the Collaborative expanded to include more stakeholders and diverse voices, the values of the collaborative took shape in the form of a dynamic set of Principles and Practices that reflect how we hope more donors will give and ground us as a group.
This multi-stakeholder collaborative shares ambitions to influence donors to give more, give smarter, and address systemic inequities. Through a joint visioning process, members identified five potential levers to influence change:
- Market segmentation: Working together to access and build better data on donors, where they are, and how to reach them.
- On Ramp: Collective action to better prepare wealth advisors, family office staff, attorneys, accountants, and others to make more efficient and effective matches for their clients with the donor support ecosystem.
- Drawbridge: Working to build infrastructure and connective tissue across the donor support ecosystem.
- Peer Influencer: A collective campaign to build and leverage a diverse cohort of donors who represent varying faces, archetypes, and stages in the donor journey as peer influencers and role models who can draw others into the donor support ecosystem.
- Infrastructure Reset: Influencing other, existing infrastructure organizations that currently serve philanthropy to increase their awareness of, and attention to, the unique needs of individual donors (vs. philanthropy staff).
Influencing donor behavior is an ambitious goal. Joining forces with others allows us to achieve greater impact than we could on our own—forming crucial partnerships to strengthen the donor support ecosystem, making it more visible, stronger, and more accessible to donors, with the goal of influencing more donors to give in ways more likely to make a difference.
Current IDPC Member Organizations:
The American College of Financial Services
Asian Women Giving Circle
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Philanthropic Partnerships
Cascade Philanthropy Advisors
Donors of Color Network
Giving Project Network
Morgan Stanley Philanthropy Management
The Narrative Initiative
National Center for Family Philanthropy
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Social Venture Partners International
The Philanthropy Workshop
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Collaborative Work Products
The Time to Act 2020 working group emerged from the Impact Driven Philanthropy Collaborative. From July 2020 to July 2021, the working group convened monthly to exchange reflections, lessons, and strategies for racially just donor education and advising in the era of COVID-19.
Following the murder of George Floyd and the nationwide reckoning with racial justice over the summer of 2020, the philanthropic sector saw a rapid rise in programming, funding, and other initiatives related to racial equity. Multiple donor-serving organizations (DSO’s) for high net wealth individuals introduced equity-themed statements, panels, book clubs, learning cohorts, pooled funds, and more. This paper seeks to reflect on the DSO sector’s response, share lessons learned, and explore the implications for the DSO ecosystem.
Impact-driven philanthropy is the practice of thoughtfully and intentionally using our time, talents, and resources to give in ways that advance equity, effectiveness, and systems change. These principles and practices are being developed, tested, and continually updated by the Impact-Driven Philanthropy Collaborative.
In the United States, nearly 80 percent of giving to nonprofits is directed by individuals. In recent decades, an ecosystem of organizations has made it their part of their missions to educate individual high-net-worth (HNW) donors on how to give their time, talents, and resources thoughtfully and intentionally to advance meaningful change on issues and in communities. In 2003, New Visions Philanthropic Research and Development conducted a landscape of donor education organizations that mapped the emergence of formal programs offered by organizations to help support donors along their philanthropic journeys and identified issues and trends in the field. In 2020, the IDPC launched an effort to update the field’s understanding of the donor support landscape. This resulting snapshot, based on data captured just before the COVID-19 pandemic, highlights what has changed since 2003 and how the donor support ecosystem is evolving.
The Collaborative funded market research, in partnership with WealthX, to help ground our work and to provide useful information to the many organizations seeking to find and engage high-capacity individuals in philanthropy. This research answers some key questions about the people with $30M+ net worth in the United States and shares key demographic and other information that can inform all of our work.