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A Journey From GenCon to Social Impact

Category: Perspective

A Journey From GenCon to Social Impact

“Gaming brings people together” – Lisa Su, CEO, Advanced Micro Devices This year, I had the unique opportunity to attend GenCon2023, North America’s largest tabletop game convention. With an estimated attendance surpassing 70,000, this year’s event gathered game designers, developers, distributors, and enthusiasts in Indianapolis. Over several days, attendees shared, tried out, and reveled in … Continued

Sparking New Collaborations and Deepening Relationships with Learning Communities

For funders considering various mechanisms for broader and deeper levels of engagement with organizations and stakeholders, Learning Communities are a powerful tool. They support the development of trusting and thoughtful relationships, cultivation of allies and supporters on mission-aligned topics, and establishment of credibility and expertise.  On the grantee side, Learning Communities provide pathways to connectivity … Continued

Small Steps to Great Impact in Trust-Based Philanthropy

As we settle into 2023, we know that many funders are determining how to best implement some of their lessons learned from last year, while looking for jumping off points for where and how they can go deeper in their work. Some of the questions we hear are: How can we improve our grantmaking to … Continued

Navigating Challenging Conversations: Getting on The Same Page to Strengthen the Impact of Your Family’s Philanthropy

We are in a time and place where more families and family foundations are reflecting on their role in society and examining how their philanthropic presence can or should be growing, adapting and evolving to better address societal changes.  As part of this process, families and family foundations are grappling with complex issues and facing … Continued

Re-Evaluating Leadership Development Evaluation

The following article was originally published in Stanford Social Innovation Review as part of their “Recognizing Leadership in All Its Forms” series. To read the article in its entirety visit SSIR with your subscription information or download a PDF. The social sector generally considers leadership development a good investment, especially when it comes to cultivating systems-level change. But … Continued

Centering Communities: A Case Study of Partnering in Place from Baltimore and Jackson

Place-based work has been an essential cornerstone of investing since philanthropy’s inception; it allows funders to address the unique issues and needs of a specific geographic area or community.  It involves directing resources toward community organizations, initiatives, and projects to create positive social impact and improve the health of a specific area or region. While … Continued

Letting Communities Lead: How National Funders Can Advance Equity by Partnering with Local and Regional Foundations

National funders have long sought ways to make positive social change happen in local communities. However, for some of these funders, place-based philanthropy encompasses pre-determined strategies, directive relationships with community “partners,” and strict accountability measures allowing little or no space to accommodate the particularities of local contexts. The all too frequent outcome of this type … Continued

Implementing a Localized Evaluation & Learning Framework

“You have little power over what’s not yours” – Zimbabwean proverb  As evaluators we’re often brought in to assess the success of programs that are implemented in vastly different cultural contexts. So, to ensure that our evaluation is relevant, effective, and useful – how do we integrate the individuals closest to and most affected by … Continued

Harnessing the Power of Values to Advance Narrative Change

Stories are the most powerful tools we have to connect with others, be remembered, and inspire action.[1] A single story can create empathy, challenge beliefs, and change hearts and minds. From Aesop’s Fables to Biblical parables, stories are often embedded with “lessons” about the way the world works, and teach us from a young age … Continued