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Foundations Respond to Crisis: Toward Equity?

December 9, 2020

The disproportionate public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on certain communities, along with nationwide protests against police violence and racial injustice, have intensified the calls for foundations to focus on equity and reckon with anti-Black racism in a deeper way than they had before. To what extent have staffed foundations changed their practices in 2020 in response to this push for substantial shifts in how philanthropy approaches its work?CEP surveyed and interviewed foundation leaders to find out. Foundations Respond to Crisis: Toward Equity? reveals that almost all foundations participating in CEP's study report placing new, or more, focus on supporting Black, Latino, and lower-income communities; and most foundation leaders say they are reckoning with racism and paying greater attention to racial equity in their work. However, there remains still significant room for further progress, and it remains to be seen how deep and sustained this new focus will be.

Enabling environment and civic space; Race and Philanthropy

The Stanford PACS Guide to Effective Philanthropy

June 30, 2020

This Guide is written for donors who are interested in significant and sustained giving. It was born out of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society's experience at helping donors improve their philanthropic effectiveness. Although much of the Guide is relevant to philanthropy across the globe, it is focused on donors making gifts to USregistered charities.

Tools, frameworks, effectiveness

Donors working together: The story of the Global Alliance for Community Philanthropy

September 30, 2019

From 2013 – 2019, six U.S.‑based donor organizations, all active internationally, came together with the support of the GFCF to work as an alliance to build and promote community philanthropy as a global movement. There were three underlying factors that made this initiative unusual:The Alliance was a mix of private and public donor entities, who do not often work together in this way.It was based on a commitment to work collaboratively over a number of years around an idea.A key motivation was to promote new approaches to community philanthropy as an important part of the development portfolio to donors operating internationally.Surely, this makes it a story worth telling – not just to see if the collaboration achieved its goals, but also to explore what it means to be part of an 'alliance' and what lessons this Alliance may have for other donors across the globe seeking to collaborate in new ways to make a difference.

Grassroots and community philanthropy

A Scan of Community Foundations Accepting Cryptocurrency Gifts

December 14, 2018

With the proliferation of bitcoin and other forms of digital (or "crypto") currencies around the world, a growing number of charitable donations are being given via these transaction vehicles. To what extent have community foundations entered this space? Which cryptocurrencies are the most popular in the field, and which are the most popular digital payment platforms? And how do processes surrounding these gifts differ across the field? CF Insights recently conducted a survey of U.S.-based community foundations to explore these questions, and more.

Grassroots and community philanthropy

Giving Circle Membership: How Collective Giving Impacts Donors

November 30, 2018

In Nov. 2018, the CGRG released the second and third reports of the series. Giving Circle Membership: How Collective Giving Impacts Donors, looks at how giving circle participation influences members and explores how established members differ from new ones. Key findings include:Newer giving circle members tend to be more diverse in terms of age, income and race.Newer members join giving circles for the opportunity to engage more deeply on a cause or issue; more established members cite the ability to leverage gifts and "fun" as primary reasons for participation.The report affirms previous research that giving circle members give more, give more strategically and proactively, give to a wider array of organizations, volunteer more, and are more likely to engage in civic activity.

Cultures of Giving; Grassroots and community philanthropy

Dynamics of Hosting Giving Circles and Collective Giving Groups

November 30, 2018

The final report of this initial series, Dynamics of Hosting Giving Circles and Collective Giving Groups, explores the hosting experiences of community foundations and other organizations. Key findings include:Contributing to a culture of philanthropy in their communities is the top reason that hosts are motivated to start or support a giving circle, followed by reaching new donors and a more diverse set of donors.The most fundamental service provided by giving circle hosts is serving as a fiscal sponsor; other top services offered include providing communications support, organizing educational opportunities for members and soliciting proposals from potential grantees.Hosts cited staff time required, differences in expectations between the giving circle and host organization, and covering costs as the biggest challenges associated with hosting giving circles.

Grassroots and community philanthropy

Impact Case: TechSoup

May 29, 2018

NGOsource, a project of the Council on Foundations and TechSoup, is a nonprofit social enterprise that helps U.S. grantmakers streamline their international giving.

Enabling environment and civic space; North America

Charitable Giving in the USA 2017

November 20, 2017

This Charitable Giving in the USA 2017 report is one of an international series, produced across theCAF Global Alliance, a world leading network of organisations working at the forefront of philanthropy.The series also includes reports covering Brazil, Canada, India, Russia, South Africa and the UK.As this unique collection of country reports grows we will be able to look at trends in giving for the firsttime: how people of different ages and social groups give in different countries; the way they give; therise of online or text giving; the importance of sponsorship and the different causes people support.

Cultures of Giving; Individual giving

The Landscape of Giving Circles/Collective Giving Groups in the U.S.

November 9, 2017

Giving circles and other forms of collective giving (hereafter referred to as GCs) have grown significantly in visibility and popularity over the past 15 years. Often started by donors, they are widely understood to be highly flexible, democratic, do-it-yourself vehicles for giving. Previous research has illuminated the positive impact that participation has on the giving and civic engagement of donors. Until recently, however, our understanding of the scope and scale of GCs was 10 years out of date! This research presents an updated understanding of the current landscape of GCs and similar models of collective giving or giving collaboratives in the United States. This research comprises the first of a three-part inquiry, which also looks at research underway related to the impact of participation in GCs on donor giving and civic engagement, and a study of the relationships between GCs and their hosting organizations.

Grassroots and community philanthropy

Giving in Illinois 2016

April 7, 2016

Illinois is home to over 5,200 grantmaking foundations spanning all types—independent or family, corporate, community, and operating—sizes, and issue areas. The community includes many foundations that only give locally or within the state, as well as those that fund nationally and even internationally. The following analysis provides an overview of the scale and composition of the Illinois foundation community and an examination of how Illinois foundations have fared relative to U.S. foundations in general over the past decade.

North America; Philanthropy ecosystems and infrastructure

Transformational Impact: U.S. Foundation Funding for Trans Communities

February 1, 2015

This report broadly covers funding for transgender communities by U.S. foundations between2011 and 2013, some of which includes funding specifically targeted towards transgendergirls and women, transgender boys and men, and gender non-conforming andgenderqueer people. We have devoted separate sections to funding for trans issues in theU.S. and funding for trans issues globally as well as a section on intersex funding. For a fullreview of our research methods, please see the methodology section.

Gender and Philanthropy; North America

Funder Perspectives: Assessing Media Investments

January 23, 2015

How are funders evaluating the outcomes of the media productions and campaigns that they support? Over the past five years, this question has informed a growing array of convenings, reports and research initiatives within the philanthropic sector, driving the emergence of a small but increasingly visible field of analysts and producers seeking to both quantify and qualify the impact of public interest media.These examinations have stimulated debate among both funders and grantees. Calls for the creation of a single media impact metric or tool have been met with both curiosity and skepticism. Those in favor of impact analysis cite its strategic usefulness in this moment of myriad new and untested media platforms, the importance of concretely tying mission to outcomes, and the need to justify media investments rather than programmatic ones. Detractors raise concerns about how an excess of evaluation might stifle creativity, needlessly limit funding to those projects whose short-term impact can be conclusively proven, or simply bog grantees down in administrative tasks that require entirely different skills, as well as resources.However, these debates have taken place in somewhat of an information vacuum. To date, the conversation about media impact has been led by a limited group of foundations. Little substantive information is available about how a broader range of funders address questions of evaluation. This research project aims to help fill that gap.The report, Funder Perspectives: Assessing Media Investments explores the multiple and sometimes overlapping lenses through which grantmakers view media evaluation, and confirms that there are still many unanswered questions.

Data and technology, Information and Communications

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