We believe the path to more impactful individual giving requires three things:
- A diverse, healthy, and coordinated ecosystem of donor support;
- Making that ecosystem more visible and accessible to donors;
- Investments in donor support organizations that have been leading from the front on social justice, in new mechanisms that make it easier for donors to give in ways that advance equity, effectiveness, and systems change, and in research and advocacy related to philanthropy.
Building a diverse, healthy, and coordinated ecosystem of donor support
There are many places for foundation staff and philanthropy professionals to go to learn and share best practices. There also are a number of amazing organizations that provide opportunities for donors to learn, expand their ambitions for giving, and connect with peers. But until recently, these organizations didn’t have a space to connect, vision, and share and spread new models or best practices. In addition, this constellation of organizations has often been invisible and inaccessible to donors.
We envision a field that reaches individual donors, meets them where they are, feeds and reveals new possibilities, and accelerates their path to giving with impact.
To help build this field, we invested in starting the Impact-Driven Philanthropy Collaborative, a group of key stakeholders who share an interest in shifting individual donor mindsets and behaviors. The Collaborative is now an independent project, hosted at Proteus Fund, and includes other foundations, donor education providers, donor organizers, nonprofit leaders, researchers and academics who study donor behavior, philanthropy advisors, wealth advisors, and others.
Increasing the visibility and accessibility of the donor support ecosystem
The resources and know-how to achieve impactful giving exist, but many donors are unaware or unable to access the rich knowledge of the social sector. We launched Giving Compass in 2017 to serve as a one-stop shop for donors to learn about issues, connect with learning opportunities in the ecosystem, and find giving opportunities. Now an independent nonprofit organization, Giving Compass’ resources focus on equity, effectiveness, transparency, and systems change, providing donors with the tools they need to give in ways more likely to make a difference.
Investing in innovations and model programs, as well as research and advocacy related to philanthropy. We focus our resources on organizations and leaders that have historically had less access to funding.
Our grantmaking dollars focus on a few key priorities:
- Elevating promising new models of donor support that influence donors and dollars toward equity, effectiveness, and systems change;
- Funding research that fills gaps in our understanding of the landscape of donors, donor support, donor behavior, and advances more just outcomes from giving;
- Boosting innovations that support donors to meet community priorities in new ways.
As we consider proposals we assess:
- Will this influence individual donors, rather than foundations or staffed philanthropy?
- Will this influence donors and dollars toward equity, effectiveness, and systems change?
- Has this organization historically been proximate to resources, funding, and power?