From a blog and a wealth advisory firm comes Tactical Philanthropy Advisors


Alliance magazine


Launched on 31 August, the starting point for Tactical Philanthropy Advisors is that philanthropy advice needs to be provided in the context of an ongoing relationship. ‘Having worked in the wealth management industry for the past decade, I know firsthand that the most effective way for wealthy donors to obtain advice is as part of an ongoing relationship with an experienced adviser,’ says founder Sean Stannard-Stockton, author of the Tactical Philanthropy blog and co-founder of Ensemble Capital Management, a wealth management company focused specifically on serving the needs of philanthropic individuals and families. ‘The old model of philanthropy consultants who offer outsourced staffing services or bill by the project is not well-suited to the needs of most major donors.’

Tactical Philanthropy Advisors will provide comprehensive, ongoing advisory services for clients with $1 million to $50 million or more in philanthropic assets. It has established working arrangements with Schwab Charitable, Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund®, Calvert Giving Fund and Foundation Source, which will provide administrative, back office services to Tactical Philanthropy Advisors’ clients.

Tactical Philanthropy Advisors is committed to building the field of philanthropy as well as advising individual donors. It is in the process of launching the Tactical Philanthropy Knowledge Network, a network of professional grantmakers who are committed to the idea that knowledge sharing leads to greater social impact. Jed Emerson of Uhuru Capital Management will act as chair of the network.

Tactical Philanthropy Advisors is also committed to supporting the work of the Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, a public charity that helps donors of all levels of wealth to engage in creative philanthropy. It has engaged the services of Philanthropic Ventures Foundation and its founder/president Bill Somerville to design grassroots philanthropy solutions for Tactical Philanthropy clients.

In a series of recent blog posts ( Sean Stannard-Stockton offers a useful distinction between tactical and strategic philanthropy. ‘Tactical philanthropy is an approach to philanthropy that positions donors as suppliers of support to agents of social impact,’ he says. Support generally refers to provision of capital through grants and social investments, but also includes non-financial support. He thus positions tactical philanthropists as social investors.

Strategic philanthropy, by contrast, as defined in Paul Brest’s book Money Well Spent, positions philanthropists as solvers of social problems. The role of philanthropists is ‘analyzing a problem and developing a solution’ that ‘solves the problem through a program strategy’ which includes ‘selecting grantees who will execute the strategy’.

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Tagged in: Philanthropy advice Tactical Philanthropy

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