maxcovOrganizing Foundations for Maximum Impact: A Guide to Effective Philanthropy

This monograph is intended to capture and articulate, as coherently as possible: (i) the essence of effective philanthropy as carried out by organized foundations; (ii) the obligations and responsibilities of, and relationships among, foundation boards, executive managers, and staff; (iii) how foundations should be organized for maximum effectiveness; and (iv) how foundations should relate to their principal partners and constituencies. It is written for foundation insiders: members of boards of directors and trustees; chief staff officers and others with executive responsibility; staff; and consultants and advisors. However, it is hoped that what is written here will also be of interest to a wide range of “outsiders” — policy makers, executive directors of non-profit agencies, fund raisers, and anyone else interested in what philanthropy is all about, and how foundations operate.

  • Publisher: The Aspen Institute
  • Publication date: 2003
  • Price: $15.00

Raising the Value of Philanthropy

This paper grew out of an effort by a number of people in philanthropy to “raise the value of philanthropy” by increasing the capacity of foundations to define their roles, design their programs, deploy their resources, and assess their outcomes more strategically and effectively.

As part of that effort, Dr. Prager interviewed 17 professionals from both inside and outside the field of philanthropy to elicit their views on the characteristics of foundation program and assessment strategies they judged to be most effective. The resulting paper — “Raising the Value of Philanthropy: A Synthesis of Informal Interviews with Foundation Executives and Observers of Philanthropy” — was published by Grantmakers In Health (GIH) in January of 1999. To an unexpected degree, the paper seems to have fed a hunger among members of foundation boards and staffs to learn about what works best in maximizing the impact of philanthropy, especially from others with extensive experience in the field.