Developing better knowledge for better practice

The Philanthropic Initiative’s (TPI) Center for Global Philanthropy works to increase the understanding and impact of global philanthropy. We pursue this goal by building the field’s knowledge base, broadening engagement in global philanthropy, and providing advisory services to encourage and enable strategic practice. Our research initiatives focus on issues where better knowledge has the potential to demonstrably improve the practice and effectiveness of philanthropy.

Working with WINGS, we have recently completed a study examining institutional philanthropy around the world. The study is an effort to begin to develop a picture of the vast and uncharted landscape of global philanthropy. It includes two reports based primarily on a survey of WINGS members. The first explores regional philanthropic trends, including the legal environment for giving, challenges to the growth of institutional philanthropy, and philanthropic models and assets. The second profiles philanthropy in 23 individual countries and the Arab region. Key findings will be presented at the WINGS Forum in Como, Italy in November, and both reports will subsequently be available for download.

A second research initiative, the Global Philanthropic Capital Project, is an ambitious effort to develop reliable and comparable data on global philanthropic resources. The initiative is being developed in partnership with the Salzburg Global Seminar and guided by a global consortium of philanthropic leaders. It is based on the premise that better data can lead to increased philanthropic capital, more effective giving practices, a more favourable policy environment, and a stronger civil society.

A third major study, funded by the Council on Foundations and the Seattle International Foundation, aims to understand and improve the growing practice of US donors giving internationally through US community foundations.

In addition, the Center works directly with donors. Current engagements include staffing and leadership of New England International Donors, work with a Fortune 100 company to develop a global giving programme, and assistance in developing an ambitious Chilean family philanthropy.

For more information
For more information and to share news of your interests and activities, contact Center director Paula D Johnson at

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