“It was time to professionalize the charity activities and consider how to consolidate this cluster of foundations that did not necessarily interlink with one another apart from the fact that they were all presided over by one person, Baron Benjamin.”
In the latest interview published on the Alliance magazine website, Firoz Ladak discusses his work with the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations to transform their longstanding charity legacy.
With a background in investment banking rather than traditional philanthropy, Ladak brought a new perspective to this long-standing cluster of foundations as they moved towards a more strategic and impact-driven approach. Alliance magazine spoke to him about his experience of working to professionalize the organization and how they came to specialize in the areas where their contribution was most strongly established.
“…I think one needs to be very careful in creating a frame for strategic or impact-driven philanthropy. There is definitely merit in putting together tools that will ensure that the results you’re trying to achieve are tangible and measurable, that your partners or beneficiaries should be held accountable for the money they receive, and that models can be shared. But I have to say that I’m at times critical of this ‘brave new world’ of strategic philanthropy because it does seem to ignore the fact that people have been giving for centuries and that simple generosity across numerous cultures has achieved a lot of good, and not only in the western world. Like the Tatas in India or the Rockfellers in the US, the Rothschilds represent a particular legacy that has grown over time…”
“…There’s been a lot of discussion about how you measure impact. For example, we engage a lot in capacity building for social entrepreneurs, and over time you can assess how such training has contributed to their business plan, to their achieving financial sustainability and social impact. In this particular area I do think outcomes can be measured because you are moving closer to business tools and efficiency, although there are several debates over the measurement of social impact, which in my eyes is a good thing…” Read more >
Ladak is now working on an innovative initiative that involves bringing together philanthropists mainly from the global South to share new models and build together a community of knowledge and best practice.
This article was published as part of the free content available on the main Alliance website. To discover more about subscribing to access the full content of the magazine, visit https://www.alliancemagazine.org/en/content/subscriptions.