Let me state right up front, I have nothing new to say about Brexit itself on top of the millions of words already written and said. I may have my opinion, but I suspect we will all have to wait until this plays out over the next few months or years. But Brexit does bring to the fore lurking issues in the philanthropy world that are reflective of major challenges we all need to face up to. After all, the underlying issue for most UK voters … [Read more...] about What does Brexit have to do with Place Based Philanthropy?
One of the great pleasures of being in the philanthropy space for a long time is watching ideas you helped postulate become mainstream. One of those is the welcome adoption of the concept of “infrastructure” as the way in which we refer to non-direct service support, previously known as “overhead.” By now, most funders are well aware of the debate about “overhead.” There were numerous parties who can share the blame for that preoccupation: … [Read more...] about From Overhead to Infrastructure to…Structure
In retrospect, I wonder why no one ever asked me before. The question - in the context of a course on grantmaking strategies - was: what would be so terrible if a funder overfunded a nonprofit? In my advisory work and in my teaching, I spend a lot of time helping funders “right-size” their grantmaking. To take just a few examples: A NFP/NGO requested $x. The funder’s immediate assumption is all grant requests are bloated and funds half … [Read more...] about Would That Be Such a Bad Thing? A Philanthro-ethics Question
In the philanthropy and nonprofit world, the erosion of loyalty to organizations is cataclysmic. By Richard Marker Starbuck’s created a category: the universal coffee shop… with all sorts of things going for it: the offerings were predictable anywhere in the world and on the higher end of a quality continuum; they really mean it when they say that will re-do your drink if it isn’t right; they have enlightened personnel practices; it … [Read more...] about Starbucks’ Misstep – Why it Matters to Us
A site visit is an example where the power imbalance can come into play too easily. By Richard Marker Site visits? How is that an ethical issue? Every “how-to” manual on grantmaking due diligence talks about how useful a site visit can be. After all, 990’s, annual reports, and proposal narratives can tell us only so much – a lot, but sometimes we really want to get the full flavor of a potential grantee. Meeting with the development … [Read more...] about Site Visits: Good Due Diligence or Organizational Intrusion? A Philanthro-ethical Perspective