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Accountability

Three reflections after a year spent with funders

Sophie Monaghan-Coombs 1 November 2019

I’ve spent a lot of time this year listening to funders; on the phone; at roundtables and during the three retreats we’ve held this year on Wasan Island as part of the SIX Funders Node. …


Foundations can, and must, do more to tackle climate change

1 Pavlina Draganova 31 October 2019

Last October, the world’s leading climate scientists issued a final warning: we are running out of time to prevent disastrous global warming. A year on, their message has made its mark in the UK and …


Private philanthropy and public legitimacy

1 Hilary Pearson 27 October 2019

What makes a private foundation ‘legitimate’? And what role does public scrutiny play in answering this question? My reflection was piqued by two recent thought pieces on private philanthropy and public legitimacy. The first, from …

Transparency: one small step for funders, one giant leap for equity

Genevieve Boutilier 7 May 2019

In order to solve a problem, one must first identify its parameters. This applies, too, to the philanthropic sector; to that end, many of us are pushing for greater transparency in our field. For example, …

A tale of two approaches: Philanthropy vs Foreign Aid

Igor Makarov 29 March 2019

In the past century, massive strides have been made in raising living standards for all people. For perhaps the first time in history, the vast majority of children (95 per cent) survive their first five …

The new philanthropists

2 Patrick Schmitt 11 March 2019

Annaleise is in her late 20’s and lives in New Mexico. She’s a college graduate and works as a counsellor. Not the typical profile of a philanthropist who ‘planned giving’ officers engage with. But late …

The social sector must recognise and talk about failure

Rohini Nilekani 9 February 2019

With pressure to show returns on philanthropic capital, there’s little room to discuss failure. In order to mitigate huge organisational and programmatic risk, a culture of admitting failure needs to be built. A lot of …

How philanthropy infrastructure can promote evidence-based giving

Aurelia Kassatly 8 May 2018

Evidence-based philanthropy is more talked about than done. Philanthropy support organisations can help to remedy this. Though evidence-based giving and data-driven philanthropy have become buzzwords in the sector, they have yet to be widely practised …

Funding – and power – in the hands of people and communities

Julia Unwin 1 May 2018

Many years ago in The Grantmaking Tango I wrote that funders get the voluntary sector they deserve, and decades later that rather provocative phrase has been ringing in my ears. What I meant then was that short-term project …

Chilean foundations are behind the curve, suggests study

Andrew Milner 27 April 2018

A recently-published study by CEFIS UAI and the Hauser Institute for Civil Society at Harvard University notes three major challenges facing the Chilean foundation sector if it is to make a significant contribution to the …