Giving Compass’ Take:
• The philanthropic sector is continuously working to solve social problems by experimenting with innovation in technology, various financial models, and new ways to scale impact.
• What are some examples of recent innovative philanthropy?
In the 20th century, titans of American industry—including Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, and John D. Rockefeller—helped professionalize philanthropy, pioneering the creative use of wealth to solve social problems. Today, a new set of leaders is helping the field tackle social and environmental problems while pushing the limits of innovation, often leveraging the very types of approaches that led to their financial success in the first place. At the recent Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society Philanthropy Innovation Summit, many of these leaders revealed how they’re using powerful technology, inventing new financial models to better leverage capital, and rigorously focusing on getting proven results to maximize their impact.
Once considered charity, philanthropy has been redefined as experimentation capital for the public sector. Stanford professor and scholar of philanthropy Rob Reich, who writes about the role of philanthropy in democratic societies, highlighted that one of the most important roles of philanthropic capital is funding “extra-governmental democratic experimentalism.”
With more than $373 billion in annual giving, or 2 percent of the US GDP, going to nonprofits, perhaps no mission is as urgent for the philanthropic sector as finding better ways to allocate those funds to optimize impact. The good news is that the sector has never been more innovative. The new pioneers of philanthropy are spearheading not only stronger leadership across the sector, but an explosion of interest among the up-and-coming generation of leaders in working hard to make the world a more just place.
Read the full article about philanthropy innovation by Kathleen Kelly Janus from Stanford Social Innovation Review.
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