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Lunch & Learn 26

June 14, 2016

Strategic giving: how can philanthropists design a strategy to achieve their goals?

Philanthropy usually aspires to generate positive social change by addressing complex and multifaceted human problems through the allocation of private funds. If donors want to achieve more than a simple act of generosity, they need to address three intertwined issues: effectiveness, accountability, and legitimacy. Constructing and acting upon a sound philanthropic strategy is essential for both individual and institutional donors to increase the relevance of their gifts. On which basis can donors measure the efficacy of their philanthropic actions? Who defines and assesses the social relevance of the private allocation of funds? How can donors align their personal values and goals with public needs in a way that is both satisfying for them and beneficial for the community? Professor Peter Frumkin has worked on these questions for years and established a framework to apply a strategic approach to philanthropy. In 2006 and 2010, he published two landmark books to present and illustrate his framework. What has changed in the philanthropic sector since, both in the U.S. and abroad? Has philanthropy become more “strategic”? Why does this question matter in 2016?

  • Peter FrumkinProfessor, Academic Director at Center for Social Impact Strategy, and Directeur of the Nonprofit Leadership Program, Penn University (USA). Author of Strategic Giving: The Art and Science of Philanthropy (2006) and The Essence of Strategic Giving: A Practical Guide for Donors and Fundraisers (2010).