Infrastructure 2.0: The Future of Philanthropic Impact

Infrastructure 2.0: The Future of Philanthropic Impact

  By Larry McGill, Vice President for Knowledge Services, Foundation Center   In “What makes a strong ecosystem of support to philanthropy?” Barry Knight has written a vitally important paper that illuminates one of the most important challenges facing philanthropy today – its lethargy in coming to the realization that it is part of an…

IHRFG launches new donor working group and releases new research on the state of human rights grantmaking

The formation of IHRFG’s new International Grants Operations Working Group was introduced at a recent workshop in Berlin. The new initiative aims to bridge the gap between operations teams and programmatic staff navigating cross-border funding restrictions. Meanwhile, new research on the state of human rights grantmaking builds on previous reports to analyze funding flows for human rights by region, issue area, and population.

Philanthropy’s Difficult Dance With Inequality

Brad Smith (Foundation Center): “Inequality is an inescapable fact of our world: while extreme poverty in many regions of the globe may be declining, recent research suggests that the gap between rich and poor is fast becoming a growing threat to peace, economic prosperity, the environment, public health, democracy and just about any other major challenge you can name. Indeed, one of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals developed by seventy nations (with the direct participation of 7.5 million people around the world) is to ‘reduce inequality within and among nations.’ So, why don’t more foundations embrace the term?”

New African Giving Knowledge Base from TrustAfrica

This ongoing collaboration between TrustAfrica and IssueLab, a service of the Foundation Center, will enable a better understanding of the nature of giving in Africa, encourage more widespread and cross-sectoral analysis of the gaps in our knowledge, and serve as a platform from which to develop new knowledge and as a basis for refining and adding to the discourse on African giving.

Jake Garcia — Explore funding with ‘Foundation Maps’

Foundation Center’s new tool, Foundation Maps, uncovers more than 3 million grants totaling more than $220 billion made by over 33,000 foundations to nearly 300,000 recipients worldwide. We asked Jake Garcia, Foundation Center’s vice president for data and technology, to share how WINGS members can use Foundation Maps to access the knowledge they need to make strategic decisions and achieve greater impact.

Most comprehensive dataset about community foundations now available

Today at the 2014 Fall Conference for Community Foundations, an international research collaboration unveiled the Community Foundation Atlas, the most comprehensive directory of the world’s community foundation movement that has ever been published. The online platform maps the identities, locations, assets, roles and achievements of place-based philanthropies around the world.

Rethinking transparency — it’s not a dirty word

It is time for Australian philanthropy​ to move past its negative associations with the word transparency, writes Krystian Seibert, Policy & Research Manager with Philanthropy Australia. “Better information will enable a more strategic approach to philanthropy, helping ensure that there is less duplication and more coordination and collaboration between philanthropic organisations.”

Eleanor Roosevelt and Data Post-2015

Brad Smith (Foundation Center) and Helena Monteiro (WINGS) led a recent session on data at the Ford Foundation that looked at how current projects like the Global Philanthropy Data Charter can help give an accurate picture of development progress. Angela Hariche, Foundation Center’s director of international data relations, reports.

Data moves us beyond anecdote — new Advancing Human Rights tools are great news for funders

IHRFG and the Foundation Center recently launched new tools to support the work of human rights grantmakers, including the first-ever interactive website about global human rights grantmaking, and a new report that examines funding flows for human rights by issue, population, and region. We asked Christen Dobson, research and policy program director for IHRFG, to walk us through new features and explain how data can move us “beyond anecdote”.

COF conference 2014 — foundations and the post-2015 development goals

One of the best-attended sessions at the Council on Foundations conference this week was on foundation involvement in the global development agenda for the period 2015-30. The standing room only crowd was urged by panellists from the Hilton and Rockefeller Foundations, the Foundation Center and the World Bank to get involved both in the framing of the goals and in their execution over the coming decade and a half. Article by Peter Laugharn.

The power of networks, locally and globally

In our latest WINGSForum 2014 reaction piece, Ansis Bērziņš of the Community Foundation Movement in Latvia emphasises the role of data in strengthening community identity. “Reliable data is a tool that explains what philanthropy is, what grantmakers do, and how these concepts can contribute to local communities. Data can and does show that we are not alone.”

A framework to communicate philanthropy

The Foundation Center is currently undertaking the challenge of devising a language that can be used by philanthropic organizations around the world to tell the important story of their work. The sector is invited to give feedback on proposed changes to the Center’s Philanthropy Classification System by Friday, 23rd May.

Ford Foundation’s Un-Survey invites inquiring minds

It will be interesting to see if the Un-Survey lives up to this expectation, but at this early stage it seems a great example of an effort to expand participation, transparency, and accountability since anyone can ask a question, vote on those questions already asked, and help inform the direction of not just the web design, but ultimately of answers and knowledge to be shared. Article by Janet Camarena.

Better knowledge of giving promotes a culture of transparency

Esther Tan, assistant director for NVPC, makes the case for foundations to contribute their data for public good. “Data as a public good brings many benefits to the civic sector, according to proponents of open data; it promotes transparency, enhances visibility of the sector’s work, and gives a clearer picture of foundations’ work and how it fits into the existing philanthropic development landscape.”

Interview with Joan Spero, author, ‘philanthropy in BRIC countries’

The Foundation Center’s PhilanTopic blog caught up with Joan Spero, author of a new report that looks at philanthropy in the BRIC countries, to get her take on the spread of Western-style philanthropy to other parts of the globe. Written and researched in collaboration with WINGS, the report identifies the cultural, economic, social, and political forces that are shaping giving in the BRICs and examines the growth of the philanthropic sector in each of the four countries.

Jeff Falkenstein—philanthropy taxonomy needs your help

The Foundation Center is inviting the sector to give feedback on proposed changes to its Philanthropy Classification System by 23rd May. In our latest interview Jeff Falkenstein, the Center’s Vice President for Data Architecture, explains why an extensive taxonomy is good for the sector, and how developing global partnerships is key. “We have a lot to learn from our global partners, who each bring a valuable perspective that will help improve communication, collaboration, and knowledge generation about global philanthropy.”

New Report: Charity and Philanthropy in Russia, China, India and Brazil

A new report by Joan Spero and published in collaboration with WINGS builds greater awareness and understanding of the diversity and challenges of civil society in the so-called BRIC countries. In the absence of comprehensive data on philanthropy in these emerging market economies, the report identifies the cultural, economic, social, and political forces shaping giving in the BRIC countries and describes the growth and nature of their philanthropic activities.

Tao Ze—setting a new standard for foundations in China

For our latest interview in the Road To Istanbul series, we asked China Foundation Center Vice President Tao Ze to explain the importance of the CFC Foundation Transparency Index, a comprehensive tool that ranks more than 2,700 Chinese foundations against a checklist of 47 transparency indicators. WINGS will launch its new report, Infrastructure In Focus: A Global Picture of Organisations Serving Philanthropy, at WINGSForum in Istanbul next week.