Feeding the Philanthropic Imagination

Yesterday, I picked up a copy of Octavia’s Brood, which is an anthology of science fiction stories by amateur writers who happen to be seasoned activists for social change. I’ve been carrying one of its premises in my heart since I read the introduction: those working to bring about social, political, and economic equity are imagining new …   Read more

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Would You Rather Be Ethical or Effective?

At my first session at the Ashoka Future Forum called “Scaling Trust,” I witnessed again the power of story and vulnerability.  A woman of color executive director leading a movement of thousands strong asked a room full of social entrepreneurs, nonprofit executives, funders, and investors: In fundraising, why do I so often have to choose between …   Read more

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Towards Trustworthiness: A Practical Application of Trust Based Investing

In recent conversations, including a few I had while at the Council on Foundations Annual Meeting, folks have asked how to adapt TWI’s 9 Practices of Trust Based Investment in their specific contexts.
One family foundation executive asked, “How do I get my 24 person multi-generation family member board, to change the grant-making practices that are …   Read more

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Reversing the Trust Equation: What If Funders Had to Prove Our Trustworthiness (Instead of Grantees Having to Prove Theirs)?

Lately I’ve been inspired by the notion of changing the rules of the philanthropy game here in the U.S., like Professor Ray Madoff’s challenge to institutions with over six hundred billion dollar endowments be required to pay out more than 5% and stop using “charities” as tax shelters for amassing wealth.  Professor Madoff’s ideas seem …   Read more

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Beyond the Rockstar Paradigm, Part II

Years ago, I blogged that social movement leadership needed to live into models that do not solely hinge on a single, visionary, rockstar leader.
One of TWI’s core partners, Building Movement Project, recently shared some key learning about their commitment to co-leadership.  Many of the points Frances makes resonate strongly with us, in particular the importance …   Read more

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