The growing breadth and depth of knowledge about global philanthropy in Alliance magazine never ceases to amaze me. But I felt there were some notable omissions in the June edition on philanthropy’s infrastructure. If one is reflecting on the different ‘types of philanthropy support’, there were two things that were missing. First of all, the valuable work done by 360Giving surely deserves pride of place alongside the Foundation Center in any section about data. And second of all, surely peer-learning is the most effective type of philanthropy support of them all?
How are changes going to be made without the exchange of knowledge between people who are actively engaging – and supplying their resources – to the philanthropy sector? The range of platforms, advisers and think tanks is very important. But whether peer-learning discussions are about errors and successes, or simply introductions to others, books to read or places to visit, without getting information from ‘people-who-are-doing-it’, this sector will continue to be stuck in its current, disjointed fashion. These opportunities exist through organizations such as The Philanthropy Workshop or networks like the Giving Pledge, Co-Impact, Toniic and the Nexus community. It is only through programmes such as these, that the changes we all seek will ever be made.