In this new decade, I hope:
- That we continue to increase our understanding of the most effective approaches to specific challenges — and that long-term, flexible funding follows that understanding.
- That we respect and value nonprofit leaders and pay them accordingly — providing the benefits they need, too, to make a career in the sector.
- That we improve both foundation and nonprofit governance by, among other things, radically diversifying boards to bring in the necessary range of experiences and perspectives that will yield better decisions.
- That we embrace measurement as the crucial and important challenge that it is and reject dumbed-down metrics like overhead ratios that tell us little about results.
- That we stop engaging in the “Sector Wars” and start recognizing that each sector is vital, distinct, and can play its role better than it does today.
- That we grapple with the questions raised by Darren Walker of the Ford Foundation and others about the need both to address current problems and also change the systems that have produced such vast inequities in our country and around the world.
- That we respect and are guided by the most valuable expertise of all — that of those who have lived through or are living with the challenges we seek to address.
- That we focus on what we can learn from a history of specific successes and failures and stop assuming some new donor is going to “reinvent” philanthropy for everyone.
- That we question orthodoxies and seek to engage each other across ideological differences.
- And, most importantly, that philanthropy and nonprofits contribute to real, discernible progress on the tough challenges we face — from inequality in its various forms to criminal justice reform to climate change.
Read the full article about hopes and dreams by Phil Buchanan at The Center for Effective Philanthropy.
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