Author Archive:

Devon Kearney

Opinion Devon Kearney 29 January 2024

Three philanthropy myths to bust in 2024

2024 arrives with a sense of urgency on all fronts. At a time when democratic norms are slipping, inequality and human needs are rising, and the climate is dangerously heating up, we are called upon …

Opinion Devon Kearney 2 August 2023

The future of the past: Intergenerational trauma and transitional justice

Recently I completed a research project for the Fund for Global Human Rights on the present and future of transitional justice: the things societies can do to address mass human rights abuses in their history. …

Opinion 1 Clare Gibson Nangle and Devon Kearney 10 January 2023

To shift power, fund entire ecosystems

It’s a classic tale of the trajectory of a nongovernmental organization (NGO): a well-meaning organization grows rapidly, crafts a beautiful strategy, and has all the right subject-matter expertise in place, only to realize late in …

Letter Devon Kearney, Gary Shearer, Jo Davies and Steve Francis 6 September 2022 For Subscribers

Trust-based philanthropy is a solution not a myth

One of the most heated debates so far this year came in response to criticism of trust-based philanthropy by Jacobs Foundation CEO Simon Sommer and a piece by Charles Keidan exploring the merits of Sommer’s …

Opinion Devon Kearney 5 August 2022

How to do philanthropy strategically in a messy world

I muttered and cursed on the subway the first time I read Paul Brest’s The Power of Theories of Change. It was the heyday of the Strategic Philanthropy movement, talk of measuring impact was everywhere, …

Letter Devon Kearney 13 April 2022

Letter to the editor: Trust-based philanthropy is not a myth, it’s a solution

Like Simon Sommer says of himself, I may not know what trust-based philanthropy is. But I have a good idea of where he goes wrong. Let’s set aside the broad generalizations (‘unrestricted funding seems to …