Blog

Topic: “Leadership”

Foundation’s DEI Progress Reflects Its Place-Based Grantmaking

This post originally appeared as a GMA Foundations case study. The Theodore Edson Parker Foundation has a history of prioritizing its commitment to underserved groups in Lowell, Massachusetts, the city in which the foundation was established in 1944. But in order to really effect change and to more closely reflect an evolving and increasingly diverse... 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

Time-Limited Philanthropy: Embracing Mortality Can Drive Urgency and Excellence

In Give Smart, Thomas J. Tierney and Joel L. Fleishman wrote that private foundation excellence is self-imposed. “Of all the characteristics that distinguish philanthropists, the single most consequential may be the fact that they are essentially accountable to no one but themselves,” they said. Governments must win the favor of voters. Companies must earn customer... Read More

Embracing Strategic Planning In Philanthropy

This primer introduces you to the wide world of foundation strategic planning. No two strategic plans are alike, and the process for developing and implementing strategic plans can be just as different. In this primer, you’ll discover why funders engage in strategic planning, get an overview of the strategic planning process, and hear what other... Read More

Pivoting Through COVID-19: Portfolio Alignment for Foundations

In 2020, the pandemic upended our daily lives and the philanthropic landscape. But the Claire Friedlander Family Foundation‘s board saw this crisis as an opportunity to transform their giving, investment focus and protocol — proactively aligning the assets of the foundation with its mission. The pandemic and ensuing hardships gave the board the impetus to... Read More