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Public Affairs

2019

Strategic philanthropy

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Business

Balancing The Competing Demands Of Strategic Philanthropy: The Case Of The Delaware River Watershed Initiative, Edward W. Wilson, Carol Bromer, David Laroche Dec 2019

Balancing The Competing Demands Of Strategic Philanthropy: The Case Of The Delaware River Watershed Initiative, Edward W. Wilson, Carol Bromer, David Laroche

The Foundation Review

Strategic philanthropy requires striking a balance between two extremes. On one side is unilateral agenda-setting by the foundation and excessive reliance on its own intellectual frameworks and methods. On the other side is too much deference to competing voices from the field, with the risk that funding will be haphazard and incoherent. This article describes how the Delaware River Watershed Initiative, supported by the William Penn Foundation, has struggled to position itself between these two extremes.

Based on an evaluation conducted during the first four years of the initiative, the article examines four interrelated tensions: upfront planning versus emergent strategy, …


Building Principle-Based Strategic Learning: Insights From Practice, Kelci M. Price, Chera Reid, Suzanne Kennedy Leahy Mar 2019

Building Principle-Based Strategic Learning: Insights From Practice, Kelci M. Price, Chera Reid, Suzanne Kennedy Leahy

The Foundation Review

Strategic learning is a powerful tool for foundations to achieve greater impact, yet foundations have struggled to create practices and behaviors that effectively support them in learning about strategy. Given that many foundations are engaged in strategic philanthropy, where they have specific conditions in the world they are trying to change, it is critical that they have the capacity to effectively learn about and improve their strategies.

This article offers three principles for strategic learning, informed by the field of strategic learning and insights from practice across three foundations. Each principle is explored in terms of what it means and …