Collaboration Among Foundations: Striving for Maximum Impact
In ever increasing numbers, foundations are actively developing (formal and informal) mechanisms through which they can confidentially share investment priorities, discuss the intersectionality of their work and dialog about issues of competition and convergence. In creating these spaces, foundations are strengthening their ability to provide broad community impact in a planful and deliberative way.
In terms of making a broad impact, foundations are also coming together to discuss the issues and programs in which they are investing. This provides them with insights as to how to avoid redundancy and ensure that the full spectrum of funding needs within the given area is being met.
Investment Decisions: Its Not All About Money
Often the work of foundations is seen strictly through the lens of financial investments. But that's not how they view it. The discussions are now being expanded beyond money to finding ways to catalyze social impact through networking among other foundations and working with entities like the Foundation Center to convene conversations with the nonprofit community. This serves to not only to provide direct communication, it also subtly serves to break down the power differential between the members of the social sector (philanthropy and nonprofits).
Setting The Example
Another emergent trend is that many smaller foundations are following the investment choices of larger foundations for two purposes: (1) get a sense of where in the money is flowing and (2) as appropriate make similar investments as to leverage community impact on a given topic.
As always, be focused on knowledge, innovation and impact!
John Patrick Bailey, Ph.D.