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Reimagined Philanthropy Volume 2: Advanced Strategies for a More Just World

November 28, 2023

Reimagined Philanthropy is your indispensable guide to navigating the dynamic landscape of giving. Whether you're just starting your philanthropic journey or looking for new ways to go deeper in your giving, the insights and tools shared will empower you to architect positive change with intentionality, structure, and focus.Experienced philanthropists will benefit from insights on operating models, DEI principles, adopting a systems perspective, redefining philanthropic impact, strategic time horizons, impact investing, and the pivotal role of communications, among other topics.

Reimagined Philanthropy Volume 1: A Roadmap to a More Just World

November 28, 2023

Reimagined Philanthropy is your indispensable guide to navigating the dynamic landscape of giving. Whether you're just starting your philanthropic journey or looking for new ways to go deeper in your giving, the insights and tools shared will empower you to architect positive change with intentionality, structure, and focus.Designed for emerging philanthropists, this volume provides a solid foundation by addressing mindset, goal setting, approaches, innovative grant support, and impactful ways to assess and enhance giving.

Facilitating Equitable Systems Change: A Guide to Help Foundation Board Members and Executive Leadership Lead the Way

October 4, 2023

This publication is designed for board members and executive leadership of foundations and other philanthropic entities who are interested in adopting approaches to support systems change that embeds equity and disrupts entrenched injustices that their institutions address. The guide serves as a roadmap for embedding systems change as a priority. It also provides an overview of systems change concepts and frameworks, as well as peer perspectives and insights.

Evaluation of the Shifting Systems Initiative

June 22, 2023

Since its launch in 2016, the Shifting Systems Initiative has played a vital role in catalyzing change within the philanthropy sector. It has conducted extensive research and facilitated numerous convenings, engaging funders and partners across the globe, including the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America.In June 2020, the initiative entered its latest phase, which involved commissioning a comprehensive evaluation to assess the evolution of system change as a field, the initiative's role in driving that evolution, and to inform its future direction.The evaluation report pursued five central strands of inquiry, examining the impact and effectiveness of the Shifting Systems Initiative and the sector more broadly. The primary objectives were to assess the extent to which the philanthropy sector has embraced the concept of systems change; explore the influence of the initiative on discourse and practices within philanthropy; analyze critical successes and challenges encountered by the initiative; understand effective strategies to influence philanthropic behavior; and identify opportunities for operational and governance improvements.The evaluation report features significant findings and key insights, shedding light on the impact of the Shifting Systems Initiative and others in the field. It provides valuable guidance for shaping the next phase of the initiative and serves as a vital resource for actors engaged in systems change within philanthropy.

Shifting Power to Shift Systems: Insights and Tools for Funders

December 8, 2022

This report summarizes insights relating to power dynamics from leaders and experts on driving systems change.Over the course of three months in early 2022, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors' Shifting Systems Initiative hosted a series of eight workshops focused on power and equity in philanthropy. During these workshops, an invited group of funders and other partners discussed the role of power dynamics in effectuating the systems change needed to address increasingly complex global challenges.The honest and rich conversations during those workshops surfaced several important themes and insights on how to balance power in a way that drives rather than inhibits change. This report distills some of the practical actions that funders can take in order to reduce that power imbalance, including:Shifting internal vision and practices to embrace a vision of society based on global solidarity and distributed leadership.Fostering a culture of learning, growing, and experimenting through exploring new tools and resources, sourcing fresh and emergent perspectives, and funding grantees without restrictions.Embracing equitable evaluation and impact assessment practices by recruiting evaluation teams and consultants who are culturally competent and possess lived experience, and by working with grantees to create relevant metrics of success that define impact on their terms.The report also contains conceptual frameworks and actionable resources that can enable funders to create equitable processes and practices, and to embed equity as a core principle and building block of systems change. We hope this publication will be a meaningful contribution towards moving the practice of philanthropy away from its inequitable origins and practices, and towards more equitable practices that will ultimately enable it to shift power and systems.

Operating Archetypes: Philanthropy’s New Analytical Tool for Strategic Clarity

April 27, 2022

This publication is part of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors' multiyear Theory of the Foundation initiative, which seeks to enhance the capacity of philanthropies to effectively align their resources for the impact they envision. Operating Archetypes is a new tool for action and alignment for funders seeking to optimize their operations and impact. We hope that both established and emerging funders, as well as the broader community of grantees and partners, will find this new analytical framework enriching and beneficial in their pursuit of thoughtful and effective philanthropy. 

Recommendations for Assessing and Reporting on Contributions toward the Sustainable Development Goals

August 5, 2021

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (FCG) engaged Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) to develop a method to assess and report contributions toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for each of FCG's operational and grantmaking programs and areas of intervention. This document focuses on the output that resulted of the "Provided reporting framework to units" phase of the project.

Prize Philanthropy: Benefits, Challenges, and Winning Approaches

March 22, 2021

Prizes have long been used to recognize achievement and advance innovation and effective solutions. In recent years, prize philanthropy, the use of monetary prizes to recognize achievements or drive developments that benefit society has become more popular among a wider segment of donors. This guide was created to help philanthropists decide whether and how to use prize philanthropy to achieve their goals.

Online Self-Assessment Tool for Foundations

January 1, 2021

The tool is designed for new or seasoned organizations, families and individuals engaged in philanthropy who are seeking a deeper understanding of how their organizations work and how to better leverage their resources and investments for impact.The tool can be particularly helpful for donors to:Conduct a philanthropic "gut check" or review of whether your identity, structure and approaches makes sense in the context of internal and external shifts.Ensure there is alignment across all levels of the organization on the core concepts, values and approaches.Better manage important organizational inflection points, such as leadership transitions or adopting new directions or approaches.

Impact Investing Handbook: An Implementation Guide for Practitioners

October 1, 2020

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors published the "Impact Investing Handbook: An Implementation Guide for Practitioners"—180 pages of helping asset owners turn interest into action. Two years in the making, this practical publication features case studies and detailed guidance for individuals, families, foundations, and corporations. Written by Steven Godeke of Godeke Consulting and Patrick Briaud of RPA, it features input from over fifty experts and practitioners.The Handbook comes at a pivotal moment. In the midst of urgent social, economic and environmental challenges including COVID-19, a rapidly changing climate, growing economic inequity, and broader realization of systemic impacts of racism, more investors are seeking to better understand the positive and negative consequences of how they deploy capital. There is a growing realization among those who seek to influence society that they can use more of their assets to complement and even accelerate their social impact goals.The Handbook covers:The Why – Developing a theory of change by merging impact goals with investment goals.The How – Building or shifting a portfolio using the full range of impact tools and structures.The So What – Measuring success through leading principles, frameworks, and standards.The Now What – Crafting a realistic implementation plan by following best practices.

Strategic Time Horizons : A Global Snapshot of Foundation Approaches

January 1, 2020

Strategic time horizons are increasingly becoming the subject of thoughtful discussions within philanthropic organizations, causing a shift away from in-perpetuity models as the default approach. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) and NORC at the University of Chicago set out to conduct a global exploration of various dimensions of strategic time horizons in institutional giving.This report includes a global exploration of various dimensions of strategic time horizons and examines strategies and operations, as well as perceived advantages and disadvantages of different philanthropic timeframes.

Social Compact In A Changing World: How Philanthropies are Grappling with Growing Scrutiny and Critique

September 11, 2019

This paper is an expansion of a concept introduced in The Philanthropy Framework, a publication of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Theory of the Foundation initiative, which seeks to enhance the capacity of philanthropies to effectively align their resources for the impact they envision. The Philanthropy Framework is a tool for analyzing how a philanthropy makes decisions, interacts with others and the broader society, and utilizes its capabilities and resources. The Framework is comprised of three elements:Charter, the organization's scope, form of governance and decision-making protocol.Social compact, its implicit or explicit agreement with society about the value it will create.Operating model, the approach to the resources, structures and systems needed to implement strategy.