The events of the past year have shined a light on the way that philanthropy and impact investing is conducted. It comes as no surprise that decision-makers tend to be disproportionately white, male, and from backgrounds of privilege, and decisions tend to be made in a closed and opaque fashion. But there’s another story that’s unfolding – one where funders have chosen to cede decision-making power to people with lived experience of the problem at hand. And that story is told in an exceptional book titled Letting Go: How Philanthropists and Impact Investors Can Do More Good by Giving Up Control. And it’s a pleasure to have here with us its co-author, Meg Massey.
Since 1952, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation has been committed to helping create a vibrant New York City — one that is strong, healthy, livable, and just. It is also one of the leading adherents of a concept called trust-based philanthropy. And here to discuss that with us, as well as how it is responding to this period of unparalleled disruption, is Philip Li, the president and CEO of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.
Every industry has changed dramatically over the course of the past quarter-century. This would certainly include the field of philanthropy, which has truly become a profession. One of the leaders in the professionalization of this field has been the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and here with us to discuss that and the nonprofit sector at large is Amir Pasic, the Dean of the Lilly School of Philanthropy.
It has been written about the New York Foundation that they are the Sugar Ray Robinson of philanthropy. Pound for pound, the best grantmaker in the business. Their vision, integrity, and willingness to take risks are matched by very few others, if any. Maria Mottola has served as their Executive Director since 2003 and has been with them since 1994, but she’s with us now.
Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, discusses why grant makers should start paying for true outcomes rather than for services, and talks about why nonprofits should focus more on long-term stability and less on short-term goals.