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philanthropic sector scan

Page history last edited by northern california grantmakers 13 years, 6 months ago


Regional Association Perspective

What are we seeing?


“New” philanthropies flock to web 2.0 tools to increase engagement from all parts of the grantmaking community, flourishing in the paradigm of user-generated content.






“Traditional” philanthropies are slowly adopting web 2.0 tools to reach new levels of transparency and effectiveness.












People want to get a handle on this.


  • Record attendance at digital media gatherings at NCG in 2007 and significant demand for streaming archive.

    As a support organization for grantmakers we realize we need to provide one-click access to learning


  • The tools have different meaning for different parts of the philanthropic enterprise

  • Program Officers: new ways to build knowledge of the field and engage with grantees

  • Communications Staff: new methods for the message

  • Technologists: the thrill / specter of open source

  • Research Staff: increased integration of data

  • Trustees: the right feed for a regulatory environment


  • The motivation for understanding oscillates between philanthropy’s need to understand what practices to support in grantees and what practices to adopt for itself

    Alison Fine’s Foundation Report on Web 2.0 for the Overbrook Foundation


What’s not happening?


The “shared space” of grantmakers and grantees in partnership for change is not widely evident

The adoption of web 2.0 is of course about technology and more of course about culture change. How do we reconcile philanthropy’s culture of individualism with the wisdom of crowds? [ Grantmaking in a Web 2.0 World ] Is the web -- many small pieces loosely joined -- making old grantmaking practices in advocacy and democratic engagement obsolete? What does grantmaking in an interactive world look like? Remember that Web 2.0 moves extremely fast. Is that compatible with reflective practice?



Why Be There?


Mars Needs Wisdom. As these new tools for giving emerge, a new cohort of givers is participating, with different perspectives on what makes change, and what philanthropy can accomplish. A review of the top Facebook Causes reveals that priorities are very top-level, and don't appear to scratch the surface of understanding of how giving catalyzes long-term change. And while "WidgetGiving" increases participation and spurs innovation, it is preserving a traditional weakness in philanthropy: creating a landscape of unconnected efforts about what’s going in and what’s coming out.


Regional associations, as premiere providers of grantmaker education, can play a vital role in bringing grantmaker experience into the Web 2.0 landscape.



How to Get There

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