Wednesday, February 14, 2007

More ideas, more flagpoles

Picking up where time made me leave off yesterday, here are some additional ideas that may have been ahead of their time - might we be ready for them now?

6. Re-package the best information that foundations, public agencies, and investment analysts collect on vertical segments of the social sector - education, smart growth, agricultural innovation, health outcomes - into usable, donor friendly resources that others providers of philanthropic capital (donors, lenders, social investors) could use.
This idea is presented in some depth in Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets: The Deliberate Evolution

6b. For foundations: Develop analytic connections between industry sector analysis on investment side of foundation house and social sector analysis on grantmaking side of house. For example, use knowledge and expertise on health care industries and investment possibilities to inform analysis of health care structures on grant side. See Foreign Affairs article and roundtable on Challenges of Global Health.

7. Help donors and foundations with similar interests find each other. Take advantage of common technology platforms (MicroEdge, FoundationSource) to build shared data sources that funders can use to help find other partners.

8. Provide high quality, data/analysis snapshots to donors, boards of directors, foundation execs, social investors in the forms they need it, when they need it - create a subscription service for research briefs on issues of interest. See, for example, Geneva Global Reports, the Grantmakers in Education cases on grantmaking principles, and the education futures map from the KnowledgeWorks Foundation.

9 a. Develop sector specific indices (see globalgiving index for a start) on revenue and investments in certain sectors. Use CSR indices and AccountAbility Keystone Project as starting points.

9 b. Provide data and analysis that will help social investors and philanthropists track revenue flows by market segment, issue, geography. (start with something like xigi)

10. Encourage experimentation in organizational form as well as in capital markets to encourage cross-sector solutions. See, for example, Community Interest Companies in the UK and ideas for "for-profit" charities.

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