There are not a lot of people who spend their time wondering what a better philanthropic system/market/ecosystem could look like. I am one of those few. Colleagues of mine from Blueprint recently reminded me that I have already outlined a vision of better (in my 2004 book, Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets: The Deliberate Evolution). The elements I identified then were:
· Aggregated philanthropic dollars
· Diversity of people, resources, ideas and vehicles
· Different power dynamics between grantor/grantee
· Long-term, committed grantmaking for change
· Integrated resources across sectors
· Timed well relative to stage of problem and other funding.
I still agree with those, and realized that since 2004 I'd developed some other lists as well. ... These seven building blocks of open philanthropy are:
- 1. Facilitate adaptation, don’t hinder it
- 2. Design for interoperability, local specificity will follow
- 3. Build for the poorest
- 4. Assume upward adaptability
- 5. Creativity and control will happen locally
- 6. Diversity is essential
- 7. Complex problems require hybrid solutions
- Data, research, analysis, strategy, and measurement tools help people put their resources where their personal interests and passions are.
- the ... philanthropic industry ...is personal, fragmented, and anonymous. It is also strategic, brand-oriented, and – in the aggregate – enormous. Its most generous participants – as measured by percent of net worth given – tend to be the poor, not the rich.
- While the range of issues they can support is almost limitless; the number of tools that philanthropists have at their disposal is rather small. They have really 7 things to bring to the table: money, knowledge, time, expertise, connections, patience, and independence.
- I do equate strategy, knowledge, and alignment with effectiveness.