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Online Resource for Philanthropists

14 April 2011 at 9:02 am
Lina Caneva
A new website designed to help philanthropists make better 'giving' decisions has been launched by US-based Not for Profit strategy and consulting agency Bridgespan Group.

Lina Caneva | 14 April 2011 at 9:02 am


Online Resource for Philanthropists
14 April 2011 at 9:02 am


A new website designed to help philanthropists make better decisions and get better results from their giving has been launched by US-based Not for Profit strategy and consulting agency Bridgespan Group.

Bridgespan says the website,, collects and shares effective practices, including case studies, practical how-to guides, and other decision-making tools with philanthropists.

The website, which has been set up with a 3-year grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is organised around six questions designed to help donors unlock the full potential of their philanthropy.

Each of the six questions has their own section on the website, with each section linking to case studies, relevant articles and papers, opinion pieces and other resources.  The six sections of the website are:

– What are my values and beliefs?
Give Smart says if philanthropists are committed to making a real change in the world, they need to start by clarifying their aspirations.

What is “success” and how can it be achieved?

Give Smart says a philanthropist needs to know what they are trying to achieve if they are to get results.

What am I accountable for?

The website says its easy for philanthropists to overestimate what they can actually contribute – so they have to be ruthlessly realistic about the resources they are willing and able to invest.

What will it take to get the job done?

It says philanthropists have to make good decisions and also ensure that they and their grantees are positioned to deliver results through strategy and successful execution.

–  How do I work with grantees?

There are philanthropic paths towards making a difference – this section deals with the most common path donors take in funding Not for Profit organisations.
– Am I getting better?
This section says that for the complex problems philanthropy tackles, results are barely black and white, so philanthropists should move their focus from perfect metrics to improving over time.

Bridgespan partner, Susan Wolf Ditkoff says that in a decade of experience working with philanthropists, they have learned that a growing number are eager to raise the bar on their own performance – they want help with questions that they care passionately about, and they want compelling examples of other philanthropists who have created real change.

Wolf Ditkoff says they hope that the Give Smart website assembles the best thinking in the field –from a wide variety of experts and organisations– to enable philanthropists to get better results from their philanthropy.

According to Bridgespan’s co-founder, Thomas Tierney, individuals in the United States give approximately $300 billion to charity.

He says if the effectiveness of that giving can be improved by even by 10% or more, just imagine the change that could be accomplished.

Materials on the website will be contributed by the Bridgespan Group – which has been working with philanthropists for 10 years – as well as from leaders in the field of philanthropy including the Center for Effective Philanthropy, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, the National Center for Family Philanthropy, The Philanthropic Initiative, and the Philanthropy Roundtable and many others.

The website is part of a three-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop and curate research and build the tools described above, including video, and to make those tools widely available.

The website is part of Bridgespan’s Give Smart philanthropy initiative, which also includes the recently published book ‘Give Smart: Philanthropy that Gets Results”.

Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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