Bold vision. A willingness to take risks and experiment. Close attention to results. These are some of the qualities of high-impact philanthropy that are captured in TPI’s 30 lessons learned in pursuit of deep social impact, as shared in June when we launched our 30th anniversary celebration.

In reflecting on 2019, I am certain TPI’s founder Peter Karoff would be pleased with how so many funders – individuals and families, corporations, foundations, and others – are putting these lessons into action for sustainable change. All of us at TPI continue to be inspired by the clients, advisors, and other partners we have the privilege of working with. We are proud to share here some highlights from our recent work, shaped in large part by the new lessons and insights we’ve gained. We hope our learnings and the resources we share with the field can help support your efforts in some way, too.

Having Greater Impact across Borders 

TPI’s Center for Global Philanthropy, with generous support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, released The Thoughtful Funder’s Guide to Global Giving after conducting in-depth research and conversations with funders working around the world. The report is a valuable reference for those looking for powerful practices across all issues and geographies, and at any point along their philanthropic journey.

Ramping Up into Agents of True Change 

One favorite 2019 story on this blog nicely illustrates some of the challenges funders can face when ramping up their philanthropy as they move toward higher-impact work. An initial stated goal may shift and evolve over time and with experience, as Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation discovered. As it deepened its understanding of the real needs of the communities served, the Foundation became pivotal in mobilizing communities and HPHC employees to come together around community gardens across New England.

Transforming Lives and Creating a More Equitable Society 

Philanthropy has an important role to play in tackling the complex factors behind the achievement gap as well as low college completion rates for students from disadvantaged communities. To address these issues, we continue to help more and more funders create powerful scholarship and college success programs.

Unleashing More Capital for Good

The combined forces of rising numbers of women controlling wealth along with interest in impact investing led to the 2019 launch of Invest for Better, a non-profit, open-source campaign and resource site.

Supporting Strong Leaders and Building Capacity 

The Russell Berrie Foundation, since its inception, has focused on honoring and inspiring great leaders. For 23 years, the Foundation has recognized “uncommon and unsung” heroes throughout New Jersey through the Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award program.

 Read the full article about strategic philanthropy in 2020 by Leslie Pine at The Philanthropic Initiative.