Giving Compass' Take:

Akhtar Badshah, writing for Medium, discusses how philanthropists should approach social change through investments in small, local, grassroots efforts making an impact.

What are the benefits of approaching social change this way? What are key differences from measuring large-scale efforts?

Read about another approach: activist philanthropy.  

We are in a period of unusual turbulence. There is uncertainty in all sectors of our economy and society. Traditional frameworks are being upended, which is having an impact on the philanthropic and social sector.

To accelerate social transformation and have the sustainable impact on the communities we serve, we need to rethink our approach. We must move away from funding and creating Whales, where one or few programs grow on a massive scale to have the desired impact.

Consider Spawning Salmon — small yet impactful efforts that are locally driven and connected efforts that can swim upstream and create their own model of sustainability or re-creation. Even if a few salmon die — or in other words, a few projects fail — there are many others that will continue to thrive and feed the community.

This does mean accepting a variety of factors at play, such as supporting small groups of organizations, funding and building the capacity of these organizations to use transformative technologies, creating new mechanisms of funding and moving away from capital preservation to capital investments, and supporting innovative partnerships and collaborations. In many cases, working within the existing policy framework and innovating within the system rather than outside of it.

Read the full article about the future of social change by Akhtar Badshah at Medium.