Over the past several decades, many efforts have advanced the field of philanthropy, and frameworks have emerged to strengthen and support how donors can create more impact in the world.
This set of principles and practices has been developed with key stakeholders involved in supporting donors, and guides the Impact-Driven Philanthropy Collaborative (IDPC), which consists of funders and others who are dedicated to influencing individual donors to learn how to give in ways more likely to lead to meaningful change on issues and in communities.
Impact-Driven Philanthropy is the practice of strategically using our time, talents and resources to influence meaningful, measurable change on issues and in communities. Guided by clear goals and strong values, impact-driven philanthropists have a passion for solving problems and a commitment to partnering with the people closest to those problems. While each person’s journey is different, certain core beliefs can guide us to discover the strategies and solutions that will allow us to do the most good for the causes we care about:
1) Humility. Coming to this work with a learning mindset, recognizing we are learners in this space, and we don’t have all the answers.
2) Clear, Sustained Focus. Focusing our giving on specific issues or places, especially those we have a personal passion for, can help drive our dollars to do the most good. When we invest in causes we’re passionate about and stick with them for the long haul, our work can achieve lasting impact.
3) Research-Informed Strategy. Exploring the landscape is an important first step toward achieving impact. Research can help us understand the challenges the people we’re hoping to help are facing, the capacity of our potential partners, and solutions developed by communities which we can support. For those of us with limited time to commit to a cause, research can also help identify others who can leverage our resources for maximum impact.
4) Continuous Collaboration & Learning. Joining forces with others allows us to achieve greater impact than we could on our own, especially when we collaborate closely with leaders doing work on the ground. Productive partnerships are built on a foundation of mutual respect. They are sustained by clear communication, alignment of goals and methods, openness about challenges, and conscious striving for learning and improvement.
Impact-driven philanthropy is a personal journey that offers many paths for exploration and discovery