“All outstanding philanthropic successes have one thing in common: They started with a smart strategic plan.”
Paul Brest, former president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
There is no “right way” to be a philanthropist.
Funders and donors understand that with great privilege comes great responsibility, but responsibly stewarding charitable funds to spur innovation, meet an acute need or address a systemic problem requires each philanthropist to settle on a giving-strategy that mixes emotional impulses and intellectual analysis in ways that feels right to them.
I work with large foundations, family funds, giving circles, individual donors and impact investors to craft entirely new philanthropic strategies, and to review and revise existing strategies.
This work typically emphasizes examining best practices from other funders, gathering direct input from existing grantees or practitioners in the field, and establishing time horizons for committing and disbursing funds that are in synch with the funders’ ambitions and change they want to see in their community and the world.
In addition to allocating funding strategically a highly effective donor or foundation Board has established consistent and ‘user-friendly’ ways of gathering the information they need to make grantmaking decisions.
I help philanthropists, trustees and program staff set-up or refresh:
- guidelines and application processes for grantseekers
- protocols for reviewing applications & conducting site visits
- schedules for awarding, disbursing and reporting on grants,
- standing agendas for effective Board meetings
- periodic reviews of program or portfolio performance