How corporate philanthropy has evolved a century on from Rockefeller & Carnegie

Shanaz Musafer, BBC News special section, "The Business of Giving", 9/16/12

John D Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie made their money in the oil and steel industries respectively, but both wanted to make sure their money would make an impact on society long after they were gone and set up philanthropic foundations. A century on from when they were created, the Rockefeller Foundation and Carnegie Corporation reflect the areas in which their founders wanted to make a difference -- healthcare [Rockefeller] and education [Carnegie]. But [their] vision statements were very broad, leaving how one goes about achieving those visions open to interpretation. Carnergie recognised that "conditions upon [earth] inevitably change" and did not wish to tie future trustees down. So although the Corporation still has a heavy focus on education, it also has programmes in other fields. Clearly not everything is the same as it was 100 years ago. The biggest change affecting the older foundations has probably been the growth of government. Dr. Beth Breeze from the University of Kent points to how the funding of water has changed over the years as an example of how funding in different areas can evolve: "In centuries past, the water pump would be funded philanthropically, then it became state funded, and then privatised." With government cuts now taking place across Europe and the US as countries attempt to repair their economies, there is a chance that charities who see their funding dry up turn to the "third sector" to step in. But Dr. Breeze says what philanthropists don't want to do is step in and fill the gap, funding something just because the government stops. They want to fund something new. So what will the philanthropy of the future look like? Leslie Lenkowsky at Indiana University believes we are already seeing more big donors who are choosing not to use foundations, sometimes feeling that big foundations can be too bureaucratic. This does not mean the likes of the Carnegie or Rockefeller foundations will disappear, because they are permanently endowed, but we might not see so many new ones cropping up. "I think we're going to continue to see a mixture of things," Prof Lenkowsky says. "We'll see more [people] involved in direct giving, more looking at business and charity. [But] I think the Gates Foundation will be the last big foundation for a while."


As nonprofit sector grows, LinkedIn offers help to fill boards from business world

Meg Garlinghouse, LinkedIn blog, 9/17/12

At LinkedIn, we believe connecting the right talent with the right opportunity has the potential to change the world. Since the beginning, it has been part of our culture to identify ways we can leverage what we do as a business and apply it to the social sector. Today, we are proud to announce LinkedIn Board Connect, a program that helps nonprofit leaders find high quality professionals to join their boards. Over the last two decades, the nonprofit marketplace has exploded. There are nearly 1.6 million nonprofits in the U.S. with nearly two million board seats that need to be filled annually. The good news is that professionals want to join these boards. According to the Taproot Foundation, an estimated 87% of human resources professionals and 92% of marketing professionals are interested in board service but far fewer actually serve on boards. We are giving nonprofit leaders the tools to help them leverage their own networks and their board members' networks to find the right skilled professionals to join their boards. The Board Connect program includes free access to Talent Finder (one of our premium accounts focused on finding top candidates on LinkedIn), access to an exclusive educational webcast and an invitation to join the Board Connect Group on LinkedIn. To participate, you must be a registered U.S. nonprofit. We are launching in limited release to give us a chance to learn from our initial participants. It is our hope that Board Connect will enable nonprofit leaders to find professionals with the right skills, experience and social capital to help them be successful.


Groupon's fundraising model helps nonprofits -- and makes a profit for itself

Vanessa Small, Washington Post blog Capital Business, 9/12/12

From an interview with Patty Morrissey, manager of Groupon Grassroots, which has raised $4.2 million in fundraising campaigns to date

How many campaigns do you do each week?

We run 15 campaigns per week. Three in each of five regions.

How has philanthropy evolved?

We created G-Team in 2010. In April, G-Team re-branded [as] Groupon Grassroots. Now that we feel confident and know what works well, we want to take it up a notch and make sure we're pushing the envelope on delivering more creative, more compelling, deeper impact campaigns. We want to increase the average amount given on a campaign.

How has the giving been profitable?

I'm glad you ask this question because I think professionals in this field are afraid to acknowledge that there's a return on your philanthropic involvement. The hybrid model of driving impact while making a profit is the future of this work. If we're just a cost center, we're the first thing to get cut. In order to be relevant within the key stakeholders of a business, which is legally obligated to produce a profiit, I have to think along those same lines, too. It doesn't mean you minimize this social or environmental impact because of that, but you want to make sure that you're designing it for mutual benefit so that you can continue to grow it. We monitor very closely what our impact metrics are but we also have business metrics that we're accountable to.

What are the impact metrics?

Customer activation. A lot of people are introduced to Groupon for the first time through an invitation to support one of these campaigns. Merchant relationship building. Another thing is that it really helps build relationships with the merchants. Brand trust and reputation [are] more longer term. That's hard to measure day to day. We've definitely seen immediate business value from the customer activation stand point.


World's 1st School of Philanthropy could be profit center for Indiana University

The Nonprofit Times, 9/14/12

Indiana University has received approval to establish a School of Philanthropy on the Indiana University-Purdue University campus in Indianapolis. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education approved the university's proposal to create what is believed to be the world's first school dedicated to the study and teaching of philanthropy. Eugene R. Tempel, Ph.D., who was appointed senior fellow in philanthropy effective October 1, will lead the planning and organization of the new school, collaborating with faculty, staff and university administrators. Tempel, who currently serves as president of Indiana University Foundation, is a former executive director of the Center on Philanthropy and has been integrally involved with it since its inception. "Many of today's students want careers that let them make a meaningful difference in the lives of others," Tempel said. "The School of Philanthropy will help them become the next generation of philanthropy and nonprofit professionals and scholars, equipping them to fulfill their dreams of changing the world." As with any academic setting, funding is an issue. Tempel [said] that the school as of June had raised just shy of $70 million. It is projected that $100 million will be needed. With the nonprofit sector roughly 5% of the nation's gross domestic product and 11% of the workforce, such as school could be a profit-center for the university, Center on Philanthropy Executive Director Patrick M. Rooney said.

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