If you are looking for outsize impact in your giving, don't overlook the opportunities that come with giving to support advocacy or even elections and political reform. This post and video that goes with share some ideas about how to go about this kind of giving, and reviews some of the most common concerns that donors have about focusing their giving in this way.
As a starting point, it's worth remembering that many issues that matter a great deal take massive amounts of resources to address. Public education and affordable housing are two examples. One of the most leveraged ways for philanthropists to engage on these issues is by influencing how public dollars are allocated.
A second big idea for having outsize impact with your giving is explore the unknown--to expand the base of human knowledge, Once a discovery is made it's a permanent expansion to the stock of human knowledge. That's a potential benefit for everyone, and great leverage for philanthropists who back these discoveries.
Some of the clearest examples involve medical research on curable diseases.
Take the "ice bucket challenge," for example.
This was a crowd sourced craze in 2014 on the internet. It raised $115 million to support ALS research in only 6 weeks. Those resources funded two breakthrough discoveries on previously unknown sources of the disease.
Another example is the Gates Foundation's support to develop a vaccine against malaria. It has been a long haul since Gates first announced $168m to support this effort in 2008. A billion dollars...
One of the most common concerns we hear from donors looking to gear up their giving goes something like this:
“Our family doesn’t have tens of billions of dollars like the biggest foundations and philanthropists. We want to know that our dollars are actually making a difference in the world. We want to feel like our giving really matters. How do we make an impact we can hang our hats on, one that makes our family feel like we’re making a genuine difference?”
No matter which particular issues you focus on, there’s value in “thinking big” with your giving. This post is the first in a series that here's to help you think big about your giving whatever level of resources you’re bringing to the table.
In the United States and across many countries...
Getting good with your wealth is good for your giving. This post is about how your relationship with your wealth connects with your approach to philanthropy.
Strategic philanthropy is what you do when you have your own theory of change, your own ideas about how best implement that theory, and you invest your resources accordingly.
In the most extreme version of this approach your grantees function like contractors hired to carry out elements of your strategy to your precise specifications.
Strategic philanthropy positions the donor in the role of social entrepreneur--this can be a good fit for some donors with a deep understanding of the challenges they are seeking to address, but it's far from the only way that donors can position themselves for impact and fulfillment in the social change ecosystem.
If you really want to change the world, begin by changing yourself. This is wisdom that is held in common across a wide variety of faith and philosophical traditions.
As someone with a calling to make the world a better place, deepening your understanding of your own psychological wiring is a building block for more joy and more impact across all the areas of your life.
This post explores a practical model for understanding human motivation and behavior that is grounded in human needs psychology. Check out the video for an introduction to this model, as well as the series of 12 self-guided coaching modules that walk you through the practical application of these insights.
Most of us with a calling to make the world a better place have a fairly easy time coming up with a daily to-do list. But often we struggle much more to get clarity about how we really want to focus ourselves on a month to month basis.
This post is about a simple structure for taking as little as 30 minutes per month to sit down and meet with your future self, reflecting on how best to maximize your joy and your impact in the month ahead.
Check out the video, download the monthly planning template and give your future self the gift of thoughtfully looking ahead.
Love is a foundation for joy. And we all know we want to live in a more joyful world. This post is all about how we can lead with love in our most important relationships--whether romantic relationships, family relationships or even with our fellow change agents, as we answer our call to make the world a better place.
The video walks through a framework for distinguishing between 3 different levels of love and then shares six practical tools for leading with the highest level of love--abundant love--across all the areas of your life.
A great starting point is to assess what kind of love you are bringing to your most important relationships--are you coming from a self-oriented standpoint, a transactional standpoint or are you truly focused on doing whatever you can to help someone else flourish on their own terms?
On one hand, when you are going after complex systems change it doesn't always feel credible to lay out a fully specified strategic plan years into the future. And holding yourself accountable for delivering on metrics and milestones can feel performative exercise, especially when funders are the ones calling the tune.
On the other hand, no matter how deeply held your vision for a better world, it's nothing but a dream unless you are taking steps to execute against that vision on a day to day basis.
This post is about reclaiming a positive relationship with goals and strategic planning on your own terms as a social entrepreneur. The video begins by looking at what kinds of goals and plans are the best fit for different strategic contexts, and then shares three different systems for...
Sometimes our attempts to communicate with someone else break down because our deepest values are in conflict. But in many cases, the root of the conflict is actually a misunderstanding that you can uncover and address using a tool called the ladder of understanding. That's the focus of this post: using the ladder of understanding to improve our communication with others.
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These are the same materials we use with the social entrepreneurs in our accelerator program and the funders we coach one on one. The world has never been more in need of a new, greatest generation of change agents and that's why we're opening up free access to these materials to anyone who's ready to make use of them!