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Steven Lawrence

Senior Research Affiliate

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Setting an analytic framework for discovery and insight

“Human curiosity, the urge to know, is a powerful force and is perhaps the secret weapon of all in the struggle to unravel the workings of the world.” —Aaron Klug

A national expert in the field of foundation philanthropy, Steven brings a worldview that is curious, unbiased, and delightfully clear-minded. He serves as a resource for thinking, guiding, and inspiring innovation, helping clients shape questions that both reveal the world as it is and the world as it has the potential to be.

Steven is a prolific writer and frequent speaker known for his ability to ask the deeper questions needed to fully illuminate a subject. His ability to create highly strategic, customized knowledge and funding landscapes helps grantmakers, philanthropy-serving organizations, and non-governmental organizations around the world uncover new insights and make strategic decisions.

Steven has led groundbreaking research and published on a broad range of philanthropic priorities, such as human rights, social justice, health policy, education reform, peace and security, and mission investing.

At TCC Group:
  • Ariadne: European Funders for Social Change and Human Rights: His research study for the Foundation, “Seeking an Inclusive Europe,” provided a first-ever mapping of global funding to counter ethnic and religious violence and xenophobia in Europe. Steven illuminated existing funder priorities, and worked in partnership with members to identify gaps in current grantmaking. Informed, data-driven strategic decision-making resulting from the report has led to greater funder engagement in opposing hatred across the region.
  • Grantmakers in the Arts: Steven conducted a first-ever examination of formula-based funding by public arts funders and united arts funds. The resulting analysis, “Recalculating the Formula for Success: Local Arts Funders and United Arts Funds Reshape Strategies for the Twenty-First Century,” has revealed how grantmakers—often the largest funders of the arts in their communities—are rethinking their strategies to keep the arts relevant to their evolving communities and supporters. Steven’s interviews and deep engagement with funders revealed a collective desire to innovate, a commitment to infusing greater diversity into their funding, and an eagerness to learn from one another to actively support the growth and diversity of the arts and culture field.
  • United Philanthropy Forum: Reflecting an expanded mandate that now encompasses all types of philanthropy-serving organization (PSOs), the Forum commissioned Steven to create a new survey and reports on member activities. The resulting annual studies, “Compensation and Benefits for Philanthropy-Serving Organizations” and “Key Metrics for Philanthropy-Serving Organizations,” enable Forum members to work collaboratively with peers in the field and the Forum to document the value of PSOs to the broader sector.
Before TCC Group:
  • Foundation Center: As Director of Research, Steven worked with the Center for over two decades, leading innovative research in philanthropic areas ranging from the arts to education to international development. A recognized expert in the field, Steven guided and inspired grantmakers, PSOs, funder collaboratives, media, and policymakers as they worked to innovate and advance a range of causes.
  • LGBT Community Center: Steven managed all facets of a capital campaign to renovate the historic home of New York City’s LGBT community, enabling the Center to better meet the needs of the many individuals and organizations making use of its services.
Education:
  • University of Chicago
    • MA, Sociology
  • Cornell University
    • BS, Communications
Board Service:
  • Funders for LGBTQ Issues Board of Directors
  • Giving USA Advisory Committee on Methodology
Additional Works:
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