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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.

Filantropia e os ODS: Ferramentas Práticas para Alinhamento

April 25, 2019

Este guia fornece as etapas práticas para os financiadores filantrópicos que estão prontos para se alinhar aos Objetivos de Desenvolvimento Sustentável (ODS) - a agenda global para pessoas e o planeta adotada por todos os países nas Nações Unidas em 2015. Neste guia, você aprenderá como planejar, avaliar, relatar e agir sobre os ODS, e lerá exemplos esclarecedores de outros financiadores que enfrentam e resolvem desafios semelhantes aos seus.

Filantropia e os ODS: Primeiros Passos

April 25, 2019

Em 2015, os países do mundo reuniram-se nas Nações Unidas e assinaram um acordo histórico chamado "Transformando o Nosso Mundo: a Agenda 2030 para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável", que incluiu um conjunto de 17 Objetivos de Desenvolvimento Sustentável (ODS). Os ODS traçam um caminho para um futuro justo, seguro e sustentável para as pessoas e o planeta. Este guia apresenta os ODS e explora como os financiadores filantrópicos podem se alinhar com eles para aumentar seu impacto sobre as questões com as quais se importam.

Philanthropy and the SDGs: Practical Tools For Alignment

April 25, 2019

This guide provides practical steps for philanthropic funders that are ready to align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—the global agenda for people and planet adopted by all countries at the United Nations in 2015. In this guide, you'll learn how to plan, assess, report, and take action on the SDGs, and you'll read illuminating examples of other funders facing and resolving challenges similar to yours.

Philanthropy and the SDGs: Getting Started

April 25, 2019

In 2015, the countries of the world came together at the United Nations and signed on to a historic agreement called "Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," which included a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs chart a way forward to a just, secure, and sustainable future for people and the planet. This guide introduces the SDGs and explores how philanthropic funders can align with them to increase their impact on the issues they care about.