Do you remember the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life,the Universe,and Everything?
Now what’s the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life,the Universe,and Philanthropy?
Aside from the very little that’s specified by the IRS,there’s a lot of art,judgment,personal or organizational preference,“we-do-it-this-way-because-we’ve-always-done-it-this-way” in the field of philanthropy. To any question,there may be many answers,but often no Answer.
LearnPhilanthropy’s goal is to make answers easier to find,but first we need to know what kinds of questions[i]are keeping you up at night.
Here are ten examples,from conversations with grantmakers at recent conferences:
- How do I use evaluation data most effectively to influence my foundation’s strategy?
- How do we get good outcome data without burdening our grantees?
- What kind of non-monetary technical assistance is most useful to grantseekers?
- Everyone is talking about Twitter and Facebook. Beyond that,how do we think about using social media most effectively?
- How do I present my good ideas to management in my foundation so that they listen?
- What are the pro’s and con’s of managing assets with the talent we have,or going to an outside investment service?
- How can I find resources for funding social justice?
- How is the sector structured? Who does what?
- Our foundation is considering term limits for program officers. What are the pros and cons?
- How do you do effective social impact investing and program related investments? Are there good examples in the field?
So help us get our arms around the universe of questions. Quickly,and without giving it too much thought,comment on this blog with a question that’s buzzing around in your mind. It can be pragmatic or profound,fundamental or esoteric. We’ll use this brainstorm to compile FAQs linked to existing resources,conversations,or smart people in the field.
If we can’t find an answer… well,there’s always “42.”
[i] Related to grantmaking!