One of the things I most enjoy about working in philanthropy — besides knowing that my work ultimately helps people to improve their lives and communities — is the “sharing culture” of philanthropy.  Everyone wants to help everyone else out.

We just identified promising practices for helping young people transition out of foster care, so we wrote it up in this report in hopes that you can use it to benefit foster care kids in your community.

We’ve interviewed experts across the United States to determine how best to provide general operating support grants, and we’d like to share our findings with you.

Here’s what we’ve done to prepare our foundation for a disaster, and we will be giving a free webinar in hopes that you can learn from our mistakes.

You are helping a foundation learn about effective evaluation strategies? Sure, I’d be happy to talk to you and tell you how we evaluate impact.

I launched IdeaMail, my firm’s e-newsletter, in 2005 in the same spirit: To share ideas, strategies, and resources of interest to people who work in the field of philanthropy. I created the Philanthropy411 blog with this same spirit in mind. We’re all trying to make the world a better place, and by sharing information with foundations, nonprofits, and one another, we can maximize our impact and succeed.

4 responses to “Blog

  1. Hi Kris,
    So excited to find your blog (on twitter). I hope to learn more. My background is in public health but I am a writer-turned into- social media/communications geek :). Please check out my blog and tell me what you think: Thanks so much,

  2. I thought you’d be interested in this new report called Creative Disruption!

    The report can be downloaded at no charge at

    Executive director sabbaticals can strengthen nonprofit organizations, according to a new report jointly released today by the Alston/Bannerman Fellowship Program; the Barr Foundation; the Durfee Foundation; the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund; the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust; and the Rasmuson Foundation. The report, Creative Disruption: Sabbaticals for Capacity Building and Leadership Development in the Nonprofit Sector, finds that sabbaticals can be “a relatively inexpensive but highly productive capacity-building tool that yields measurable results.”

    The report exposes the myth that an executive sabbatical will be a chaotic disruption, finding instead that the creative disruption of a well-planned sabbatical can be productive for the entire leadership of an organization. This finding is surprising to many, says Claire Peeps of the Durfee Foundation: “One of the things we hear is ‘I could never go to my board with a sabbatical request.’ But we’ve learned from 10 years of funding sabbaticals that they can improve the long-term health of a nonprofit organization.”

    Key findings from Creative Disruption include:
    • Sabbaticals can be an opportunity for the second tier of leadership to gain new skills and take on new responsibilities
    • The “dry-run” of a sabbatical can be a best practice in succession planning
    • Executive directors who went on sabbatical were more likely to extend their tenure, not cut it short
    • Sixty percent of survey respondents said their board of directors is more effective as a result of the planning and learning that went into the sabbatical
    • The majority of leaders who went on sabbatical reported better relationships with staff, board, funders, and community
    • Eighty-seven percent of the leaders who responded report increased confidence in doing their jobs
    • Funders benefited from feedback and innovative ideas from executive directors who went on sabbaticals, gaining a deeper perspective on community needs

    The five organizations that commissioned the report together have funded more than 325 sabbaticals for nonprofit executives over the past 10 years. Investigators from Third Sector New England and CompassPoint Nonprofit Services surveyed and interviewed sabbatical awardees and the managers who served as interim or acting executive directors during the sabbaticals.

  3. This is a fantastic resource! Thank you for fostering a spirit of cooperation in the philanthropic community, and for your hard work in putting together this blog.

  4. Carnegie corporation of New York also tweets.
    We are new to the technology, but giving it a go!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s