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Philanthropy today is described as exploring innovative models. A new generation of philanthropists dissolve the boundaries of traditional sectors by investing in social purpose organizations, regardless of their tax status. For corporate titans the global philanthropy game is no longer about making money and donating it to charity. It's about investing in the most promising agents of change.

Stanford multidisciplinary approach benefits: Video File, (3:51 minutes, RealPlayer® format)

Recent Conferences and Speakers

Nonprofit Accountability Practices: Burden or Benefit?

Are foundations' grantmaking and reporting processes aligned with their strategies? Funders rely on grantee reporting to measure the impact of their investments, but improving program effectiveness is challenging. New data from a Stanford Business School study details nonprofit accountability practices and the costs of conflicting demands. How can foundations improve their accountability requirements for greater social impact? Denise Gammal, research director at the Stanford Center for Social Innovation; Karen McNeil-Miller, president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust; and Eric Schwarz, president and CEO of Citizen Schools debate ways in which evaluation requirements may help or hinder mission delivery. audio icon Listen Now

Sex Traffic, Dechen Tsering, Global Fund For Women

Sex trafficking is the third, most lucrative, international criminal activity, behind illegal drugs and the black market gun trade. Millions of women and girls each year are tricked, trapped, bought, sold, and forced into service in sex industries. During a presentation she gave at the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford, Dechen Tsering explored the causes of trafficking and the techniques used by traffickers. She advocates a holistic approach to stop this grave human rights violation against women. Tsering also describes the work Global Fund for Women undertakes to combat sex trafficking in Southeast Asia and around the world. audio icon Listen Now

Community Foundations: Connecting Donors and Communities for Lasting Impact
These organizations provide ways to maximize philanthropic impact while making grants to charities and community groups. Participants include James Head, of San Francisco Foundation; Peter Hero, MBA '66, Community Foundation of Silicon Valley; and Richard Kiy, International Community Foundation.
Video File, (54:55 minutes, RealPlayer® format)

Corporate Philanthropy: The Benefits and Challenges of Giving
Issues include how corporations can integrate philanthropy with a core strategy and what expectations a community has when a corporation donates funds or in-kind products to help a societal need. Speakers: Atlanta McIlwraith, Timberland; Doug Sabo, McAfee, Inc.; and Steve Wright,
Audio File, (1:19 hour, RealPlayer® format)

Expecting Returns: The Role of SRI and the Market
The past few decades have shown that index funds such as the Domini Social Index and others with a socially responsible investment approach perform with or outperform the S&P 500. Speakers: Nancy Pfund, Bay Area Equity Fund; Lila Preston, Generation Investment Management; and Devin Zeller, Calvert.
Audio File, (1:14 hour, RealPlayer® format)

The Role of the Capital Markets in Green Companies
As demand for green companies increases, where will these innovative firms find financial backing to pursue their goals and how will initial investment affect their future success? Speakers: Rob Day, Expansion Capital Partners; David Dreessen, Nth Power; and Sanjay Wagle, VantagePoint Venture Partners.
Audio File, (1:19 hour, RealPlayer® format)

When Disaster Strikes, United Chain Efforts Can Enhance Relief Work
With the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina fresh on everyone's mind, members of humanitarian relief organizations, along with corporate and academic supply chain management experts, recently gathered at the Stanford Graduate School of Business to exchange ideas and best practices aimed at improving the effectiveness of major international disaster efforts. Details

Agenda and PowerPoint presentations

Adele Martz, General Motors: Business Continuity Planning Improving GM's Risk Profile
Video File, (49:21 minutes, RealPlayer® format)

Gail Neudorf, CARE Canada: Disaster Relief Challenges
Video File, (40:20 minutes, RealPlayer® format)

Ludo Oelrich, "Moving the World," A Partnership Between TNT and World Food Program: A Public-Private Partnership That Works
Video File, (39:15 minutes, RealPlayer® format)

Audio programs, from IT Conversations

Luther Ragin


Is Grantmaking Enough? A Case for Mission-Related Investing
Luther Ragin, vice president of investments at the F.B. Heron Foundation in New York, made a strong case for a new model of charitable investing focused on maximizing results. He called on the philanthropic community to rethink the 95/5 model so popular in grant making today, in which 95 percent of a foundation's funds are invested each year and 5 percent given away. Details
Audio Program

Dr. James A. Smith


"In Search of a Philanthropic Ethic," with Dr. James A. Smith,
J. Paul Getty Trust

With this talk, Stanford Center for Social Innovation and the Haas Center for Public Service launched the 2005 Philanthropy Discussion Series: "The Role of Philanthropy in Society." This series features some of the leading thinkers in philanthropy today. Learn from the experts as they address current philanthropic challenges: accountability, effectiveness, community involvement, and civil society.

The first guest speaker was Dr. James Allen Smith, a historian specializing in public policy, philanthropy, civil society, and American cultural policy. He was the first visiting professor in philanthropy at Georgetown University and serves as senior advisor to the president of the J. Paul Getty Trust.

Peter Hero


Community Foundations Are Looking Abroad
Increasing globalization and emerging networks between community foundations are "transforming international philanthropy, and we're at the very beginning of major changes that will affect how people give overseas and how success is measured," said Peter Hero, president of Community Foundation Silicon Valley. Details



Inherited Wealth May Pay Bills, Not Do Good
Many believe the foundation sector is on the cusp of a golden age. Baby boomers will soon inherit a tremendous amount of wealth and will be able to start to seriously give away their money. But even with this rosy picture, Kathleen McCarthy, director of the Center for the Study of Philanthropy at City University of New York, says the future of foundation is less secure than most people think. Details

Tom Tierney


High Impact Philanthropy
How much better would be the world if we learned to give money away in a manner that has the highest probability possible for generating social change? Tom Tierney, Bridgespan chairman, and former worldwide managing director, Bain & Company, makes the case of high impact philanthropy. Transcript
Video File, (53:16 minutes, RealPlayer® format)


Susan V. Berresford


Accountability: A Priority for Foundations
Susan Berresford, president of the Ford Foundation, said the foundation world is at a crossroads. She urged foundations to make their industry accountable, warning that if the nonprofit community itself doesn't address the question of legal and professional standards, others would. Details


Jim Canales


Alignment: A Key to Philanthropic Success and Impact
A foundation must understand the environment in which it is doing work and build a good team internally to achieve success. Engaging the board and communicating effectively with the public are also critical, Jim Canales, president and CEO of the James Irvine Foundation told a packed lunch- hour session at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Details

Bill and Mimi Gates

Bill and
Melinda Gates

Philanthropic Giving: The Perspective of a Donor
and a Grantee

William H. Gates, Sr., who directs and guides the $26 billion Gates Foundation, said the public has become increasingly interested in the activities of foundations. This is being driven by current corporate scandals, especially reports of excessive executive compensation, he said, adding that foundations are not heavily regulated and there is little accountability about how they spend. "There is clearly a basis for public interest and concern for regulation," said Gates. Details

Sally Osberg


Time Present, Time Future: Choosing to Last
"We are entrepreneurs. We ourselves are committed to effective, systematic change," Sally Osberg, president of the Skoll Foundation, told a standing-room-only crowd at the lunchtime kickoff to the 2004 Stanford Philanthropy Discussion Series. Believing that "individuals effect change but institutions are behind lasting change," the foundation funds mid-to-advanced-stage social entrepreneurs who are in strong positions to transform society. Details

Philanthropic Investing: Maximizing Social and Economic Value
The primary function of foundations shouldn't be charitable giving, grantmaking is one of the means to pursue value creation, said Jed Emerson, senior fellow with the Hewlett Foundation in a panel exploring new philanthropic models. Panelists included Paul Brest, president of the Hewlett Foundation, and Jennifer Vanica, executive director, the Jacobs Family Foundation.
Video File, (1:06 hours, RealPlayer® format)

PanelBridging The Cultural Gap: Business and Nonprofits
Cosponsored by the Foundation Incubator and Skoll Community Fund, this workshop addressed trends in philanthropic partnerships and the differences between business and nonprofit cultures.
Video File, (45:15 minutes, RealPlayer® format)

Research Links

Foster a More “Giving” Identity to Rouse Donors and Volunteers

How nonprofits ask for support can make their potential donors more generous with both their time or money says Prof. Jennifer Aaker. The trick is to help the donor developed a more giving identity- for instance helping them see themselves as the kind of people who support a specific cause.

Should Charities Ask For Time Before Money

Asking would-be donors for their time, not their money, is a better way for charities to increase donations says Prof. Jennifer Aaker. Asking donors first to volunteer their time can positively shift their willingness to give both time and money.

Sooner May Not Be Better as Charities Distribute the Wealth
Michael Klausner takes issue with pundits who would like to require charitable organizations to distribute their assets faster than now required. His argument appears in the inaugural issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Details

Scrooge May Really Want to Help
Letting people pretend they are supporting worthy causes because there is something in it for them may increase their participation. Researchers say nonprofit organizations need to recognize the wide range of motives behind donations of both money and time. Details