Author Archive:

Bruce Sievers

Special feature Bruce Sievers and Patrice Schneider 5 December 2017

The crisis of civic media  

For more than a decade ominous clouds have been gathering on the horizon of civil society. A series of recent developments has drawn those clouds into a storm that threatens everything in its path – civil society’s …

Opinion Bruce Sievers 1 March 2010

The holy grail of ‘impact’

‘With money tight, top philanthropists insist on more bang for the buck’ reads a recent headline in Barron’s business magazine.[1] These days, to read Barron’s and many other business publications, one would think that at …

Letter Bruce Sievers 2 June 2008

Followers or leaders?

The informative exchange between Joel Fleishman and Bill Schambra highlights two important issues in current philanthropic practice that are not explicitly addressed by either writer. First, despite Joel’s claim that foundations have notably exercised leadership …

Letter Bruce Sievers 1 June 2007

Forget feel-good philanthropy

Among the many interesting points that can be debated about the merits and demerits of ‘philanthrocapitalism’, the question of how giving makes the donor feel is not one of them. Thus, I believe Matthew Bishop …

Opinion Bruce Sievers 1 June 2007

The ethics of receiving

Among the many difficult ethical questions that arise in modern philanthropy, one seems to appear with increasing frequency, the issue of ‘tainted money’. This actually has to do with a very old quandary in the …

Opinion Bruce Sievers 1 March 2007

Philanthropy and hubris

The arrival of new sources of funding is always welcome news to anyone concerned with the application of private wealth to the benefit of society. The influx of vast new wealth into the non-profit sector …

Opinion Bruce Sievers 1 December 2006

The accountability conundrum

Perhaps the most frequently used word in discussions of the non-profit sector today is ‘accountability’. It features in the titles of conferences, articles in the press about non-profit issues, academic journals, and governmental hearings. Why …

Opinion Bruce Sievers 1 September 2006

Questions reporters should have asked about the Buffett donation

Warren Buffett’s recent announcement of his intention to give most of his fortune (some $30 billion) to the Gates Foundation generated a spate of laudatory press coverage. While few would disagree that Mr Buffett’s donation …

Opinion Bruce Sievers 1 June 2006

Miserable measurables

One of the most frequently heard words in the foundation world these days is ‘measurable’, as in ‘We want to know the measurable outcomes of our grants’. It seems like a reasonable enough request on …

Special feature Bruce Sievers 1 June 2002

Non-profits in ventureland

Venture philanthropy’s attempt to apply venture capital investment principles to social problem-solving has exerted strong appeal to the foundation world during the past few years. I do believe there are important lessons for the non-profit …