RPA creates roadmap for emerging donors

In an effort to create new levels of impact through philanthropy, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) has begun a campaign that will arm emerging donors with the knowledge to make thoughtful giving plans. The ‘Philanthropy Roadmap’ is being made possible by a 2010 $3.7 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant is part of a larger effort on the part of the Gates Foundation to promote philanthropy, which has also seen grants go to the Bridgespan Group to launch givesmart.org earlier this year (see Alliance eBulletin, May 2011) and to Bolder Giving.

The new programme will span three years and includes the development of more than two dozen guides that will constitute a core ‘curriculum’ of the key issues donors face as they consider a serious philanthropic programme, such as giving motivations and interest areas; approaches and strategies; appropriate vehicles; family roles and personal involvement; efficient operation; and assessment of impact.

The donor guides will include real-life case studies and examples for context and inspiration. As with all resources developed under the programme, the guides will be available for download free of charge through a new ‘Donor Resources’ section of RPA’s website. The site will also be home to profiles of donors, philanthropic families and successful programmes.

As part of its dissemination effort, RPA will ensure that other philanthropy organizations, from large national associations to local groups of grantmakers, as well as other advisers to wealth holders, have access to the guides. The organization’s senior executives and its board of directors will be integral to donor outreach efforts. This will include increased participation in speaking and writing engagements, and hosting or collaborating on issue-specific donor briefings. ‘Interest in highly effective philanthropy has never been higher, but many would-be donors struggle to find the “on ramp” for serious giving programmes,’ said Melissa Berman, RPA president and CEO.

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