An inspiring and thought provoking piece on her philanthropic journey by Dame Vivien Duffield, DBE, who chairs the London based Clore Duffield Foundation – a significant funder of programs (including) supporting children, society’s more vulnerable individuals, leadership and arts programs in the UK; a benefactor of numerous initiatives here in Israel (Clore Israel Foundation) and a major supporter of the Jewish Community Centre for London.

Giving and getting: a view from both sides of the fence

My Foundation director tells me that she’s having a lot of meetings with elephants at the moment. Not real ones I hasten to add. But she describes meetings in which capital plans are talked up with great confidence and no mention is made of the difficult fundraising climate in which these buildings are to be constructed: the ‘elephant in the room’ is the global economic downturn which is affecting us all and which will clearly affect many major capital projects in the coming months. She could as easily tell me that she is taking meetings with ostriches who are placing their heads resolutely in the sand. Fundraising is not an easy task right now, but honesty and objectivity are clearly the best approaches when talking to funders.

My Trustees and I are probably at the other end of the spectrum: highly sensitive to the economic climate and constantly talking of it. No-one is immune to the real and predicted losses – but will our giving be affected? I prefer to think of things rather differently: I think what will be affected is our focus. We will be loyal to our existing beneficiaries but we may have a new focus on programme rather than capital funding and we may actually be making more donations but for smaller amounts.

Click the link to read Dame Duffield’s complete thoughts and learn about the Foundation’s exciting new Social Leadership Programme.

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