The very first endowed chairs were established by the Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher, Marcus Aurelius, in Athens all the way back in 176 AD. He created one endowed chair for each of the major schools of philosophy.
Today, nonprofit endowments are all too rare, especially for social change organizations led by people of color, whose endowments are nearly four times smaller than those of white-led organizations. This, according to a new Bridgespan Group analysis, and here from the Bridgespan Group to discuss it with us are William Foster and Darren Isom.
In a given year when $60 billion is given to foundations, only about $2.5 billion of just 4% goes towards advocacy work. But with advocacy campaigns having had a track record of success from ending Apartheid in South Africa to LGBTQ rights, the question becomes, why isn’t more of this happening? This is among the items examined in a recent article on the Stanford Social Innovation Review titled, When Philanthropy Meets Advocacy. It’s a pleasure to have with us its co-author, Susan Wolf Ditkoff, who is a partner at The Bridgespan Group and the co-head of their philanthropy practice.
One of the very best nonprofit organizations in the world just so happens to have one of the very best corporate cultures. It is the Bridgespan Group which helps mission-driven organizations and philanthropists to advance their learning and accelerate their impact. Their Boston headquarters is in Copley Square and I visited there recently to hear from the staff about some of the unique and exceptional aspects of their work culture.
While 80% of major philanthropists wish to make $10+ million gifts to social change organizations, only about 20% of these major gifts are so directed, with the preponderance going to traditional institutions such as universities and hospitals.
In this segment from The Business of Giving with Denver Frederick, Chris Addy, a partner at the Bridgespan Group and co-author of “Making Big Bets for Social Change,” explains the reasons behind this “aspiration gap.”
He discusses the lack of “shovel-ready opportunities” available and what social change organizations need to do in order to be able to attract these mega-gifts.