Impact-Driven Philanthropy

We are living in an important moment in time in our country’s history and in philanthropy. Wealth inequality is growing, while participation in giving and volunteering is declining. While those in the top echelons of wealth are giving more, critics are increasingly noting that much of that giving does not flow to those who need it most, and often supports strategies that work at the margins instead of seeking to transform the systems that sustain the deep inequities in our society.

Over the next 50 years, donors will contribute nearly $20 trillion to nonprofit organizations. This presents an enormous opportunity to address some of society’s greatest challenges. But while most donors indicate they want to make donations that are impactful, many lack access to high-quality resources or advice to guide their giving. If donors aren’t making informed, intentional investments, we squander opportunities to have a transformative impact.

As we enter the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in our country’s history, we see an opening to support donors who want to give with impact by helping them to more easily access what the social sector has learned about best practices and what works.

That’s why we created the Impact-Driven Philanthropy Initiative—to help more donors give in ways that are more likely to make a difference.

Our Strategy 

Field Building and Convening 

Currently, most of the resources available on high-impact giving are directed toward foundations, rather than where the bulk of the giving will occur – with individual donors. One of our core premises is that addressing this mismatch by building a strong system of individual donor support can accelerate higher impact giving, which is why we convene the Impact-Driven Philanthropy Collaborative. This collaborative brings together key stakeholders who support individual donors including other foundations, donor education providers, donor organizers, nonprofit leaders, researchers and academics who study donor behavior, philanthropy advisors, wealth advisors, philanthropy staff in private banks, public charities and intermediaries, and others to enhance the system of support for newer donors. We envision a field that does a better job reaching individual donors, meeting them where they are, and accelerating their path to giving with impact. Together, we are seizing the moment to reach, teach, and in some cases, mobilize donors to leverage their resources toward meaningful change on issues and in communities.

Grantmaking

Our grant making efforts focus on a few key priorities:

  • Supporting organizations that work with donors through key moments of organizational transition.
  • Elevating promising new models of donor support that promote more equitable outcomes.
  • Funding research that fills gaps in our understanding of the landscape of donor support and of donors and donor behavior, and advances more just outcomes from giving.
  • Boosting innovations that meet donor needs in new ways.
  • Encouraging experiments among existing philanthropy support organizations that want to address individual donors as an audience.

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IMPACT-DRIVEN PHILANTHROPY COLLABORATIVE

Philanthropy is a powerful force for social change, and individual donors direct the overwhelming majority of dollars given away each year in our country. Yet for all donors, there is always an opportunity to refine, learn, and transform how we give in order to support even greater results. Knowing this, the Impact-Driven Philanthropy Collaborative (IDPC) promotes thoughtful and intentional giving practices, by convening representatives from the donor support ecosystem to strengthen the overall field. The Collaborative’s efforts focus on influencing donors in the top 5 percent of wealth holders, where giving has become increasingly concentrated. Though participation in giving is strong in this segment, the ways people are giving are not yet resulting in meaningful change on issues and in communities.

Supported by Raikes Foundation staff and others, this collaborative brings together key stakeholders in the ecosystem of donor support to think together how we might influence more giving towards more impact. We believe transformative and inclusive impact comes when donors focus on equity, systems change and effectiveness. Members come together to share, learn and collaborate and have identified opportunities for collective action that would support the full ecosystem.

Stakeholders with voices in the collaborative include funders, donor education providers, donor organizers, researchers/academics who study donor behavior, consultants/advisors, philanthropy staff in private banks, public charities and intermediaries, and others. The Collaborative convenes as a full group bi-annually for 1-2 days, with some work happening between meetings.

Origin Story

Emerging from a vision launched by Jeff and Tricia Raikes in 2015, the IDPC started as a small group of funders held together by the shared belief that, while there is no one-size-fits-all model for social change, there are broad reaching, guiding principles than can lead to more impactful giving. As the Collaborative expanded to include more stakeholders and diverse voices, the values of the collaborative took shape in the form of a dynamic set of Principles and Practices that reflect how we hope more donors will give and also ground us as a group.

Field-building

This multi-stakeholder collaborative shares ambitions to influence donors to give more, give smarter and address systemic inequities. Through a joint visioning process, members identified five potential levers to influence change:

  • Market segmentation: Working together to access and build better data on donors, where they are and how to reach them.
  • On Ramp: Collective action to better prepare wealth advisors, family office staff, attorneys, accountants and others to make more efficient and effective matches for their clients with the donor support ecosystem.
  • Drawbridge: Working to build backbone infrastructure and connective tissue across the donor support ecosystem.
  • Peer Influencer: A collective campaign to build and leverage a diverse cohort of donors who represent varying faces, archetypes and stages in the donor journey as peer influencers and role models who can draw others in to the donor support ecosystem.
  • Infrastructure Reset: Influencing other, existing infrastructure organizations that currently serve philanthropy to increase their awareness of, and attention to the unique needs of individual donors (vs. philanthropy staff).

Our Charge

Influencing donor behavior is an ambitious quest. Joining forces with others allows us to achieve greater impact than we could on our own—forming crucial partnerships to strengthen the donor support ecosystem, making it more visible, stronger, and more accessible to donors, with the goal of influencing more donors to give in ways more likely to make a difference.

 

Current IDPC Member Organizations:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Candid

Donors of Color Network

Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund

Fidelity Charitable

Ford Foundation

Headwaters Foundation

JP Morgan

Leap Ambassadors

Community National Center for Family Philanthropy

Philanthropy Roundtable

Planet Heritage Foundation

Raikes Foundation

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Social Venture Partners International

Stanford PACS Effective Philanthropy Learning Initiative

Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Synergos Institute

Templeton Foundation

The Philanthropy Workshop

Virgin Unite


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  • Partner spotlight

    Giving Compass

    America has a long-standing tradition of generosity. As a nation, we contribute nearly $400 billion each year to issues and causes. Though we often think of large foundations when we think about philanthropy, more than 70 percent of giving in this country is directed by individuals writing checks or giving online. 

    Among individuals, most (85 percent) say they care about the impact of their gifts, but only 32 percent conduct research online, and only 9 percent  compare organizations. At the same time, our nation is anticipating the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in our history, and expects up to $60 trillion will be passed along to heirs and some $20 trillion will be given to nonprofits over the next 50 years. 

    This generosity presents an enormous opportunity to make progress on pressing social issues and solve some of our greatest challenges, but if donors aren’t making informed, intentional investments, we will squander this chance. We see an exciting opportunity to direct more of these donations to make faster and deeper progress on issues and in communities. 


    Read More

    Partner spotlight

    Giving Compass

    America has a long-standing tradition of generosity. As a nation, we contribute nearly $400 billion each year to issues and causes. Though we often think of large foundations when we think about philanthropy, more than 70 percent of giving in this country is directed by individuals writing checks or giving online. 

    Among individuals, most (85 percent) say they care about the impact of their gifts, but only 32 percent conduct research online, and only 9 percent  compare organizations. At the same time, our nation is anticipating the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in our history, and expects up to $60 trillion will be passed along to heirs and some $20 trillion will be given to nonprofits over the next 50 years. 

    This generosity presents an enormous opportunity to make progress on pressing social issues and solve some of our greatest challenges, but if donors aren’t making informed, intentional investments, we will squander this chance. We see an exciting opportunity to direct more of these donations to make faster and deeper progress on issues and in communities. 


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To give away money is an easy matter and in any man's power. But to decide to whom to give it... is neither in every man's power nor an easy matter." — Aristotle

– Aristotle

Illustrative Grants

Social Venture Partners International

Social Venture Partners International is a philanthropic network that cultivates effective philanthropists, strengthens nonprofits, and invests in collaborative solutions in order to tackle pressing social challenges.

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Faces of Giving

This grant supports Faces of Giving’s work to deepen the field’s understanding of high net worth donors of color, their needs, behaviors, and interests.

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The Philanthropy Workshop

The Philanthropy Workshop provides strategic philanthropy education to a growing network of philanthropists with the goal of inspiring individuals and families to give better.

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Stanford PACS | Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society

This grant supports Stanford PACS to develop and share knowledge to improve philanthropy, strengthen civil society, and effect social change.

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