Episodes
In its broadest sense, the field of impact investing can be defined as an investment strategy that seeks to generate financial returns while also creating a positive social or environmental impact. Impact investing is attracting growing numbers of organizations and increasing amounts of money. By some estimates there are nearly 200 registered impact investment funds, and many foundations, networks, and mainstream financial institutions are active in the field. Impact investing contains a...
Published 07/20/22
If you’re a frequent listener of this podcast, or have attended any of our SSIR conferences, you probably know that one of the maxims about social innovation that I believe strongly is the one that states “the most effected are the most effective” – that those who are closest to the problems are often the ones with the greatest insights into what needs to occur to address them. In many ways, this is the ethos behind the idea of “participatory grantmaking.” Participatory grantmaking...
Published 06/13/22
Published 06/13/22
Traditional approaches to solving various social and environmental problems taken by government, philanthropy, and nonprofits have tended to focus on specific areas like housing, education, or health. But experience has shown us that these problems don’t exist in a vacuum. A recent article published in SSIR talks about the importance of placed-based strategies for addressing challenges faced by communities and outlines several new approaches being pursued to uplift these communities. Some...
Published 05/03/22
When thinking about making a donation to support a charity we believe in, most of us immediately think about writing a check or typing in a credit card number. Even when we proactively think about using other assets that we may hold as a way to fund our charitable giving, our instinct is to liquidate that item and donate the proceeds. But that may not be the most effective or efficient way to donate. Sometimes, cash isn’t king. And with the growing popularity of cryptocurrency, these days,...
Published 03/16/22
Modern philanthropy provides us with a wealth of opportunities and approaches to help create the change that we want to see in the world. One such approach that continues to grow in popularity is the idea of collective giving, which often translates to giving circles. It’s estimated that there are currently over 2000 giving circles in the U.S., with over 150,000 people involved in these circles, helping to donate nearly $1.3 billion. Giving circles can provide donors with a way to increase...
Published 12/27/21
The vast majority of Americans tend to handle their charitable contributions using fairly straightforward means – opening their wallet or personal checkbook. But for many people, there may be advantages to the use of what are broadly referred to as ‘planned giving vehicles.’ Benefits for doing so can include favorable tax treatment of assets in the vehicle, or the ability to take a tax deduction in the current year for gifts that are made in the future, among others. So, what are these...
Published 11/09/21
Since the late 1990’s, the philanthropic sector has been focused on data- and results-driven approaches, often referred to under the umbrella of “strategic philanthropy.” It can be argued that this thinking has strengthened the field of philanthropy in many ways, helping to bring greater rigor and focus to the hundreds of billions of dollars in annual charitable giving. At the same time, some have argued that an unexpected outcome of these practices is a distancing between donors and those...
Published 09/13/21
The vast majority of US donors don’t give to charities simply to get a tax benefit; they give because they genuinely care about the work of the organizations that they support, and want to see those organizations succeed and make a difference in the world. But it’s also true that tax law in the United States can have an impact on the volume and type of gifts that donors may choose to make. And while there may be truth to the old adage about “death and taxes,” as far as we know, only one of...
Published 08/23/21
Research tells us that there are certain resources most donors consult when starting to assemble a strategy for their philanthropy. These include peers, family, and well known, publicly-available sources of information on nonprofits like Guidestar or Candid. But among those top sources are also their existing financial advisors – people they already trust and are comfortable talking with about their finances. While many advisors may initially engage in financially-focused charitable...
Published 07/05/21
If there is one thing that the events of the past year have helped to remind us of, it’s the simple fact of how interconnected our world truly is. Issues like public health or the environment are global in nature, and new solutions to global challenges are being innovated all around the world. But when you’re a donor here in the United States who may be looking to support causes or organizations in other countries, how do you get started? And how do you make sure that you’re maximizing the...
Published 06/15/21
So, you’re a thoughtful, impact-focused donor, and you’ve done your homework and identified some nonprofits that you’d like to support. But deciding what type of gift to make can sometimes be as challenging as knowing what cause to fund in the first place. Restricted gifts, unrestricted gifts, endowments – what are the differences, and what are the benefits of each type of gift? How can you ensure that your giving is helping to accomplish your overall philanthropic goals – your purpose for...
Published 10/20/20
Over the past decade, the popularity and use of donor-advised funds, or DAFs as they are commonly known, have grown dramatically. According to the National Philanthropic Trust’s 2019 Annual Donor Advised Fund Report, “grantmaking from donor-advised funds to qualified charities has nearly doubled in the past five years,” with philanthropists recommending over $23 billion in grants to charities from their DAFs in 2018. How can nonprofits leverage donor-advised funds to support their operation...
Published 09/08/20
A 2014 report by the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College estimated that $59 trillion will be transferred to the next generation from 2007 to 2061, the largest wealth transfer in US history. Lifetime giving to charity in that same period is estimated to be $20.6 trillion. At the same time, there is an increasing desire among families to work together to use their resources to solve social challenges, with longer life spans and greater understanding of the benefits of...
Published 09/02/20
African Americans have participated in charitable giving in this country for hundreds of years, and over the past decade, African American families have—more than any other racial group—contributed the largest proportion of their wealth to charity. If nonprofits are serious about cultivating diverse communities, they must commit across their organizations to diversity and inclusion as well as dedicate time, resources, and attention to identify, solicit, and steward Black donors on their own...
Published 08/11/20
Not only will C-19 continue to roil our lives and our society, but we also have to think realistically, and accept the likelihood that other disasters may arise while we still attempt to deal with the one at hand. What can the philanthropic sector’s response to past disasters teach us about our current crisis, and what can we do to prepare for the inevitable fact of other crises that may emerge?
Published 07/29/20
During this period of extreme financial pressures brought about as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations in the nonprofit sector are feeling particularly squeezed, as they work to continue to provide support and services to what is already an expanding client population. At the same time revenues from services have dried up and donations from their traditional fundraising activities have declined. In this environment, what can individual donors do to maximize their...
Published 07/15/20
The philanthropic sector has weathered many challenges; but nothing matches the scope and speed of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. What are the areas of most pressing need? How can we think about selecting the most effective nonprofits to address those needs? How can individual donors respond to multiple needs arising from a global pandemic?
Published 07/03/20
When beginning new, or scaling up existing philanthropic activities, many strategic donors rightfully spend a great deal of time thinking about how to invest–identifying the vehicles and approaches that provide the greatest opportunity to maximize their financial commitment. But equally crucial, is spending time on the “why” of their philanthropic approach. How can we best identify not only the causes or issues that matter most to us, but those where we can make an impact? And what methods...
Published 02/18/20
Over the past decade or so, we’ve seen significant shifts in philanthropy’s approach to addressing some of society’s biggest problems and the growing popularity of market-based or market-inspired solutions to these challenges. Philanthropy and private equity used to be very distant worlds. Today, the idea of venture philanthropy has become more widespread. How can donors take a venture philanthropy approach?
Published 02/05/20
As traditional sources of charity shrink and donors increasingly look for more impact from their gifts, venture capital's role in philanthropy has expanded. To explore the trends and what they mean for giving, SSIR's publisher Michael Voss speaks with Jim Bildner, CEO of Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, and Julia Reed, managing director of relationship management with Schwab Charitable. A sponsored podcast series developed with the support of Schwab Charitable.
Published 01/29/20
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, or TCJA, made reductions to income tax rates for most individual tax brackets. But it also made changes to itemized deductions, which caused many in the non-profit sector to worry that this might lead to a reduction in total charitable giving by individuals. Now that we’ve reached year two of this legislation being in effect, what does the data show? How do taxes, or the economy more broadly, impact philanthropic giving? And what approaches should donors...
Published 01/22/20
A conversation about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, US economic performance, and people's charitable giving with Una Osili, associate dean for research and international programs at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy; Hayden Adams, director of tax and financial planning at the Schwab Center for Financial Research; and Michael Voss, publisher of SSIR.
Published 01/15/20
There are a range of organizations and solutions to help donors navigate the philanthropic process, including community foundations and national donor-advised funds. These organizations can help donors deploy their philanthropic resources in a thoughtful and proactive manner in order to improve the impact they have on the causes they support. Listen in as our guests discuss current best practices to maximize donor impact and the opportunity for community foundations and national donor-advised...
Published 01/08/20
A conversation on thoughtfully and effectively deploying philanthropic resources with Nicole Taylor, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation; Kim Laughton, president of Schwab Charitable; and Michael Voss, publisher of SSIR.
Published 01/08/20