Andy Carroll Recent Posts

Small Funders Are Perfectly Positioned To Be Advocates

Some of the most effective foundations engaged in policy and advocacy in the United States are small, place-based foundations. By focusing deeply, developing insight into their issue, leveraging their reputation and relationships, and working with persistence, these funders are achieving extraordinary impact and a high return on their investment. Our Advocacy Field Guide for Lean... Read More

Many Small Funders Don’t Engage in Advocacy. That’s A Mistake.

Amid a devastating pandemic, civic turmoil, and the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression, it might be tempting for small funders to turn away from engaging policymakers. But that’s a mistake. Now more than ever, funders with few or no staff should engage in or double down on advocacy. For far too long, foundations... Read More

Grantmaking for Equity: Essential, Fundamental Practices

Advancing racial equity requires doing our own work as funders. All lean funders should embrace this set of fundamental practices. Some funders have begun. These actions complement a continual journey of learning about systemic racism. Exponent’s community can support and guide you along the way. Eliminate barriers to entry. Don’t impose minimum organizational size or... Read More

A Call for Creative Catalytic Philanthropy

Philanthropy doesn’t stand still. Pressing issues and seismic political, economic, and technological shifts move us to regularly revisit and renew how we work. Urgency, passion, inquisitiveness, and a desire to engage is driving a number of lean funders (those with few or no staff) to center their giving around authentic relationships with grantees and members... Read More