Cre8tive Philanthropy

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Investment and innovation in the for-profit social impact community.

The Cre8tive Beginning

Some things start slow, they evolve over time and then – WHAM! – a catalyst ignites rapid change to create a new … well, thing. We all stand at a time, right now, where the “old” ways are falling away; they don’t make sense anymore or just aren’t working. Additionally, the “old-think” ways of fixing our challenges are just creating more problems. Never has there been a time when new thinking has been needed, where innovation in ways and means has been necessary.

The development of this change has been slow, but the catalyst is here. Things are getting bad. For the charitable community, things get tough in recession climates. Foundation giving is down and is likely to stay down in the short-term, state and local governments are cutting funding and grants to not-for-profits, and individual gifts and donations are down. Meanwhile, the demand for the services these charities provide is greater than ever. Many would argue that this is a temporary problem, that once the economy recovers, things will resume to the status quo. First, do we really want the status quo back? Do we want a charitable system that is good when the service demand is low  but cannot deliver when the economy kicks the bucket? Second, are we all set to the delusion that things will revert back to the way they were? Will our government magically wish away the deficits? Will housing rebound back into the stratosphere? Will our average tax rates stay even remotely the same? The abrupt answer is no. So, the charitable world is going to be under some strain unless it begins to change and find a new, economically sustainable model of survival.

For the philanthropists, family foundations, and other benefactors, times are a’ changin’. Many of these generous givers are courageously giving despite the strain and volatility their investment assets are enduring. A few have steped up to the increased demand for funds to support social benefit programs. However, the majority of foundations and “givers” have reduced their giving in line with their asset values. At a time when increased asset valuation volatility appears to be a new norm, this philosophy on giving is just not going to cut it.

So, what are the answers? How do we create more stable and sustainable charitable organizations? How can we build strong foundations who are able to support and enhance the social benefits our communities so desperately need?

The following posts will address the potential answers or (hopefully) pose the right questions to help find good solutions! Perhaps some sort of social-investment marketplace… ?

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Filed under: Challenges, Foundations, Philanthropy, Uncategorized

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