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Do More Than Give: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World

ISBN: 978-0-470-89144-5
272 pages
March 2011, Jossey-Bass
Do More Than Give: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World (0470891440) cover image


How donors change the world through the six catalytic practices of high-impact philanthropy

Do More Than Give provides a blueprint for individuals, philanthropists, and foundation leaders to increase their impact. Based on Forces for Good, this groundbreaking book demonstrates how the six practices of high-impact nonprofits apply to donors aiming to advance social causes. Rather than focus on the mechanics of effective grantmaking, reporting, or evaluation, this book instead proposes that donors can become proactive catalysts for change by rising to meet the challenges of our increasingly interdependent world. Key principles include: going beyond check writing/traditional volunteering; advocating for change; leveraging business; forging peer networks; empowering individuals; leading adaptively; and developing learning organizations.

  • Contains robust case studies depicting every type of philanthropy (corporate, community, operating, specialized, and large private and family foundations)
  • Includes easy to use "Key Takeaways" tailored for donors at the "beginner" and "experienced" levels of catalytic philanthropy
  • Authors are internationally-acclaimed philanthropic, nonprofit, and corporate social responsibility strategy experts who frequently speak and train on high-impact philanthropy

In good economic times or bad, this book provides guidance for givers to increase the impact of their charitable resources and go beyond check-writing to help solve problems and change the world.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Acknowledgments xi

The Authors xv

1 Catalytic Philanthropy 1

2 Commit to Your Cause 19

3 Practice 1: Advocate for Change 37

4 Practice 2: Blend Profit with Purpose 63

5 Practice 3: Forge Nonprofit Peer Networks 87

6 Practice 4: Empower the People 119

7 Practice 5: Lead Adaptively 143

8 Practice 6: Learn in Order to Change 165

9 Toward a More Catalytic Future 185

Appendix A: Research Methodology 191

Appendix B: Peer Survey Questions 199

Appendix C: Research Advisors 203

Appendix D: Review of the Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits in Forces for Good 205

Appendix E: Getting Started with Catalytic

Philanthropy 211

Notes 227

Index 239

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Author Information

Leslie R. Crutchfield is an author and a leading authority on scaling social innovation and high-impact philanthropy. She is a senior advisor at FSG, a nonprofit consulting firm specializing in social sector strategy, evaluation, and research. Her previous book, Forces for Good, was recognized in The Economist on its annual list of Top Business Books.

John V. Kania is a managing director at FSG who oversees the firm's consulting practice. John is a featured author of the book Learning from the Future, and he has been published in Stanford Social Innovation Review and the Wall Street Journal. He is a former partner of both Mercer Management Consulting and Corporate Decisions, Inc.

Mark R. Kramer is cofounder and a managing director at FSG, cofounder of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, and a Senior Fellow at Harvard University. Mark speaks and writes extensively on topics in philanthropy and corporate responsibility, and has been published in Harvard Business Review and Stanford Social Innovation Review.
Visit their website, www.fsg.org

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This how-to book examines the modern role of philanthropy, moving from merely "giving away money" to becoming "active participants in the business of solving social and environmental problems." The authors examine six practices donors can undertake to change the world, an admirable goal, but much of their message gets lost in muddy jargon: "it is useful to think of collaboration as a spectrum of activity that ranges from loose coordination and informal information sharing to intense, focused collective impact campaigns" (see Figure 5.1). The message itself, and the book's organization, however, are right on the money. Each chapter concludes with a summary of key principles covered and includes reminders of important points. Some of their real-life examples are especially illustrative, such as the story about a San Diego foundation that asked residents what they hoped for in their community and used funds to create an environment tailored to those desires and needs. Also fascinating is their look at "adaptive leaders" who learn to influence beyond their control, take on a higher profile, and engage with media, a type of leadership the authors endorse but warn is "not for the timid...power hungry." (Mar.) (Publishers Weekly, April 11, 2011)
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Press Release

March 11, 2011
Do More Than Give: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World

As the Carnegie Corporation celebrates its centennial this year, philanthropic giving is on the rise, but is it any more effective? Of the more than 75,000 foundations that exist in the U.S., nearly half were created in the last two decades; private foundations now account for approximately $30 billion of the $300 billion annual giving in America; and as baby boomers age, it is predicted that they will pass down more than $40 trillion, of which $6 trillion could go to nonprofits. But are these increased dollars leading to increased impact?

What’s missing in this rosy picture is that philanthropy is still underperforming relative to its potential, argue internationally-acclaimed experts, Leslie Crutchfield, John Kania and Mark Kramer in DO MORE THAN GIVE: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World (March 28, 2011; Jossey-Bass), a roadmap for more innovative approaches to high-impact philanthropy.

Based on rigorous research including a survey of over 1500 philanthropic leaders, Do More Than Give distills the practices of a small yet growing breed of ambitious catalytic donors, who are breaking the mold.  The authors identify the bold new strategies that have set apart these proactive catalysts for change from passive check-writers or ordinary grant makers.

In addition to their financial resources, these catalytic donors bring to the table their valuable skills, technological expertise and sweat equity to practice a new kind of philanthropy that is providing tangible solutions to the world’s complex, interdependent problems. What unites these donors is that they are adaptive leaders—depending on the problem at hand, they engage in advocacy, forge coalitions with other nonprofit and for-profit networks, empower the grassroots, and devise innovative, entrepreneurial solutions.

Do More Than Give profiles the inspiring stories of more than two dozen catalytic donors, who are at the helm of this new wave of philanthropy, from the world’s largest private foundations to family foundations, and from corporate foundations and CSR initiatives at companies:

  • The Tow Foundation, a family foundation that had awarded professorships and research grants, whose next generation of leaders dramatically transformed it by getting behind the issue of high rates of youth incarceration in Connecticut. The foundation forged a powerful network of groups involved in juvenile justice reform, funded research, engaged in advocacy and won key legislative victories that led to dramatic decreases in Connecticut’s rates of youth detention and adult imprisonment. In less than a decade, the state has been transformed from having one of the worst rates of youth incarceration to a model juvenile justice program—one that is being studied by New York and other states.
  • When the Knight Foundation was looking for a solution for the "local news crisis,” they decided to crowdsource solutions from the people who were directly impacted by it. They launched a Community Information Challenge (contributing $24 million), which was largely given as matching grants to community foundations that discovered new ways to keep community residents informed and engaged. Knight went beyond conventional philanthropy in unprecedented ways—by relinquishing control of how their funds were being spent and partnering with a large network of community foundations and local nonprofits. The initiative has spawned alternative new media based start-ups and collaborations with other local grantmaking initiatives.
  • The UK’s Shell Foundation, which took the rare step of applying its business know-how to solving global problems like poverty.  One of the foundation’s most notable initiatives has been the launch and spin-off of GroFin, a for-profit growth capital fund for small and medium-sized businesses in some of the most under-developed regions of the world. Since 2005, Shell has funded more than 200 businesses to date with a default rate of less than 1 percent and is expanding all across Africa and to South Asia. Its success translates into significant socio-economic benefits: nearly 5,000 jobs created and maintained, and approximately 30,000 improved livelihoods.  
  • And more than two dozen high-impact foundations, corporations and individuals ranging from the world’s largest private foundations (The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) and corporations (General Electric), to family philanthropists (Jacobs Family Foundation), to community and place-based foundations (from Boston to San Diego to Rio de Janeiro and beyond).

These examples and many more show that when donors play a catalytic role, they leverage their philanthropic resources to the highest extent possible, enabling even small donors to have more impact than some billionaires, who rank above them in sheer giving.

As the authors write,  “Our passionate hope is that catalytic philanthropy will grow to become a more common mode— rather than the exception—in this 21st century of giving. The need for catalytic philanthropy has never been higher. And the opportunity for donors to become more active catalysts for change has also never been greater. Now more than ever, donors can do more than give.”

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