This month’s newsletter addresses the generational shift leading foundations from a traditional grant making model and leading business to bake social purpose into their work.
A generational urgency to make a social impact
It’s here. The generational shift in philanthropy is happening and gaining speed. Today’s philanthropists are putting more of their assets to work – not just grants – to make real, tangible impact in their lifetimes.
Engagement. Intention. Influence. Those are the elements of a modern foundation. Yet while more philanthropies say they want to accelerate progress toward their missions, many struggle with how to evolve from a traditional grant making foundation to a more deeply engaged and results producing entity. Sometimes it’s because the board needs convincing. In other cases staff needs organizational knowledge and new skills.
Funders are realizing how much more they can accomplish by working together. For example the Los Angeles’ MATCH fund is a unique private-public collaboration to connect high quality homes to public transit. Meanwhile new economy moguls are eschewing traditional foundation models in exchange for their own mix of social impact capital, like the Facebook founder’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
If your foundation wants to make a greater social impact Giving Strong can help. From clarifying your purpose and assuring board alignment to rewriting an investment policy statement to reflect the foundation’s unique position we can help you shift how you work. We support your external relationships too, whether elevating thought leadership or identifying thoughtful partnerships to move the needle on social change. We’re collaborators and work hand in glove with other advisors to design investments that deliver social impact.
Making the business case.
The business community is at a pivot point with pressure from stakeholders to step up their commitments to social and environmental impact. As Blackstone CEO Larry Fink tells CEOs “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society. Companies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.”
It turns out this is an ideal that most corporate leaders say they want, but they’re stuck and aren’t sure how to go about it, according to a new survey from Deloitte. The survey of 350 senior executives showcases CSR as top of mind but there are still significant barriers to implementing initiatives and uncertainty as to who within the company should lead them.
Our team helps companies break through their barriers and figure this out. We strengthen existing corporate social responsibility strategies, reaffirm (or define) corporate purpose and build a strategic plan that excites and activates stakeholders.