What does it take to realize deep social impact?

Ten years ago, when TPI celebrated its 20th anniversary, we gathered 20 ideas inspired by the ambitious, thoughtful and creative donors with whom we have been privileged to work. In honor of TPI’s 30th anniversary, my colleagues and I have added 10 more ideas. We did not have all the answers then, and we still don’t – but over the past three decades, we’ve learned some lessons we’d like to share.

Vision, Focus, and Goals

  1. Think big. Change requires many incremental steps – and one bold vision. Be a practical idealist. Vision inspires.
  2. Find your focus. Start with what you care about most. Focus allows you to understand on what, how and with whom you can make a difference – and gives you the discipline to do it.
  3. Articulate your goals. Settling on a focus area is not enough. Define what you want to accomplish, and how philanthropy can play a role.
  4. Take the long view. Social change is incremental at best.
  5. Don’t be discouraged by limited resources. Small grants, when targeted in highly strategic ways, can have great impact. Funders of all sizes can make a difference.

Read the full article about lessons learned on how to make a social impact by The Philanthropic Initiative.