Giving Compass' Take:

• The Center for High Impact Philanthropy shares concrete solutions and steps for donors to make an impact on health and hunger. 

• Which of these approaches aligns with your mission, values, and resources? What partnerships could you engage in to achieve your goals? 

• Learn about philanthropic partnership to address hunger

Now, more than ever, donors need to understand where their resources can deliver big results.

To help donors understand where such high impact opportunities exist, our multidisciplinary team relied on numerous sources of information. These sources included available academic research, policy briefs, financial and performance data from nonprofits, and emerging statistics on the overall economic situation. We interviewed dozens of experts including economists, funders, nonprofit staff, government officials, and researchers. To understand client needs and the day-to-day realities of the nonprofits working with them, we conducted site visits, including observing housing counselor sessions and listening in on outbound and inbound help lines.

Although the needs for philanthropic support are great in many areas, this guide focuses on three issues in particular. They are:

  • Preventing foreclosures
  • Sustaining primary and preventive healthcare programs
  • Ensuring access to food

We focus on these areas because in each case, the need has clearly spiked due to the downturn. Even with the recent surge in government stimulus, there remain structural gaps that philanthropic capital is well positioned to fill. Effective and cost-efficient nonprofit solutions exist. Acting now means not only addressing an immediate need, but also avoiding enormous future costs. In short, these are three areas where individual donors can obtain a big bang for their philanthropic buck.