Andy Carroll Recent Posts

Are You Using Your Power, or Leaving It on the Table?

Power is taboo. We’re uncomfortable that some wield greater strength and influence, and use it to hold sway over others. In spite of our laws and regulations, our checks and balances, our moral and social norms nurturing restraint and respect, people use power to bend rules; exclude and disenfranchise; distort facts and disseminate misinformation; manufacture... Read More

Beyond Governance: Training Foundation Board Members for Leadership

This article was originally published in the July/August 2021 issue of Taxation of Exempts, a Thomson Reuters journal. In the philanthropy and nonprofit field, training and development for boards of directors has traditionally focused on basic, fundamental roles and responsibilities. Common topics include: the duties of board members; legal compliance; providing strategic direction; hiring and... Read More

Funders Reflect on the Craft of Catalyzing Change in Exponent’s New Podcast Series

How would philanthropy be different if foundation leaders spent most of their time out in the community listening, learning and engaging with people? In my work at Exponent Philanthropy, I interview hundreds of staff, trustees and donors of small, place-based foundations. I’ve learned that many organize their work in this way—seeing themselves not as grantmakers,... Read More

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