Giving Compass' Take:

• Philanthropy-serving organizations and funding collaboratives are making significant changes and gaining momentum in the philanthropic sector. This report gathers information from twenty-seven PSOs and collaboratives to talk about how to move forward within this political climate.

• What makes collaboratives stronger than individual organizations or foundations? What needs to improve? 

• Explore PhilanTopic's piece on lessons from funding collaboratives and learn about what improvements can be made. 

Titled after one of many words used to describe the 2016 presidential election and our nation’s current political reality — unprecedented — this recent paper by the TCC Group takes a look at organizations at the center of American philanthropy: PSOs (Philanthropy-Serving Organizations), and funder collaboratives. Philanthropic networks have a unique vantage point from which to witness — and help catalyze — shifts, trends, and momentum in philanthropy, as close partners to grantmakers of all kinds.  (Un)precedented: Philanthropy Takes Action in the First Year of a New Political Reality looks at this moment in our nation through the eyes of 27 current and former leaders of PSOs and funder collaboratives.

We began receiving inquiries from funders who felt compelled to act — some perhaps sparked by the election, others by broader sentiments about the state of civil society that have been present for a long time and felt newly urgent to address.

We found, as the (Un)precedented paper highlights, that a providing a space for funders to learn from their peers was critical in these uncertain times; One of our biggest animating questions was “how do we move forward with imperfect information?” Our political environment really seems to have sparked increased funder collaboration — and much of that collaboration has taken shape within funder networks like ours.

In many ways, the shifts we’ve witnessed from our vantage point as a PSO reflect the shifts we’ve all witnessed in America recently: more than ever, people and organizations are finding — and using — their voice, embracing civic engagement in all its forms, recognizing that diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical strengths, and working together to create change.

Read the full article about philanthropy-serving organizations by Kristen Campbell at Medium