Funders are responding on many levels to many concerns. As always, some funders continue to seek innovative solutions to age-old problems, and are looking to place “big bets” in ways that could achieve big returns for society. Others are finding ways to make a difference through small grants.

And still others are supporting cutting-edge research, advocacy, social movements, or other strategies with potential for lasting impact. Regardless of the approach, the need for stakeholder engagement and collaboration is increasingly apparent – but funders can easily be daunted by the challenges involved in forging effective partnerships.

What matters is not simply about the money you give, but the degree to which you creatively leverage opportunities waiting for someone to uncover them. In 2019, take a chance on what is possible, no matter who you are and what you have to offer.

Philanthropists of all sizes can think big. And by that I mean the need to step back to see the big picture and our respective places in it. It’s about connection, community, and support for things that may seem intangible if you look at them too closely. But when you take a step back to get perspective on the moving pieces and how they interact within a bigger frame, the change needed to address seemingly intractable issues and complex systems can become clearer.

One way in which funders can better understand the bigger picture is by playing a convener role, bringing people to the table to identify gaps and opportunities that, in many cases, can best be addressed through strategic alignment of the efforts of multiple sectors.

Through constructive conversations informed by research, mapping exercises, and other knowledge, funders can sometimes identify needs that may not always be glamorous, but may turn out to be the missing piece that can accelerate change.

Read the full article about impact philanthropy by Leslie Pine at The Philanthropic Initiative.