Spotlights on Philanthropists' Strategies

9 mins |

Summary

Notable philanthropists speak on strategy, effective giving, and the philanthropic journey.
We delve into the philanthropy strategy of strategic givers such as Melinda Gates, Darren Walker, Pierre Omidyar, and a host of others, to provide important philanthropic lessons for all funders. (Donors alphabetized by last name.)
 

For Wallis Annenberg and Leonard Aube, Friendship Has Strengthened Philanthropy
Wallis Annenberg and the Executive Director of the Annenberg Foundation have put a premium on hanging out together —and that has been key to their philanthropic success.

The Bold Philanthropy of Laura and John Arnold Embraces Risks and Bets Big
The LJAF's founders seek transformational change in their philanthropy. To achieve the results they seek, they take a portfolio approach that includes a high tolerance for risk.

Effective Collaboration with Nonprofit Grantees: Three Lessons from Richard Atlas
Want a truly collaborative relationship with your grantees? Richard Atlas's philanthropy strategy provides three lessons you can use in your own philanthropy.

Carrie Avery on Getting Dramatic Results with Relatively Small Grants
The Durfee Sabbatical Program is a prime example of how the Durfee Foundation uses effective strategy to get the most out of philanthropic dollars.

Creating Win-Win Philanthropy with Limited Time: Three Keys to Josh Bekenstein's Giving

If you want to do philanthropy and you have no time, says Josh Bekenstein, Managing Director of Bain Capital, you have to do it in an incredibly leveraged way.

Five Principles Geoff Boisi Uses to Guide His Philanthropy

"When Geoff Boisi sought to reverse inner city dropout rates, he was guided by important principles that fostered the success of MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership."

Risk, Failure, and Nonprofit Overhead: Paul Brest on Strategic Philanthropy

Philanthropy thought leader Paul Brest shares lessons from his experience making big bets, encouraging open communication, and supporting nonprofits.

The Art of Being a Philanthropist: Eli Broad's Three-Question Investing Test

Before making a serious philanthropic commitment of funding—and time—remarkable giver Eli Broad asks three questions.

Charles Bronfman Collaborates to Give Young Jewish Adults the Experience of a Lifetime

Thanks to Charles Bronfman's and Michael Steinhardt's partnership, Taglit-Birthright Israel was created, enabling thousands of Jewish young people to experience the birthplace of their religion and culture.

Empowering Women and Girls Worldwide: How Jennifer and Peter Buffett Found Their Philanthropy Focus
In creating the NoVo Foundation, Peter and Jennifer Buffett follow Warren Buffett’s advice to “try to go where others are not.

Emmett Carson on Young Donors of Silicon Valley and Other Forces in Cutting-Edge Philanthropy
The Silicon Valley Community Foundation CEO provides key insights for today's philanthropists, nonprofits, and community foundations.

Philanthropy 2.0: Three Lessons from Tech Pioneers Jean and Steve Case
Steve and Jean Case changed the lives of millions with America Online. Now they’re doing the same with their philanthropy.

For Ray Chambers, One Image Led Him to Focus His Philanthropy on Malaria

A single picture can be worth a thousand words, convey a complex idea—and change the course of a philanthropic journey. Such was the case for Ray Chambers.

Innovations with Real-World Impact: How Desh Deshpande Helps Researchers Become Change-Makers

In business, venture capitalist and entrepreneur Desh Deshpande focuses on innovations that create real impact. Not surprisingly, he's brought that mindset to his philanthropy.

How Bill Draper Finds Outstanding Social Entrepreneurs

Experienced venture capitalist and venture philanthropist Bill Draper shares the leadership traits he believes characterize a social entrepreneur.

Stanley Druckenmiller Steps into the Philanthropy Spotlight

The business world long witnessed Stanley Druckenmiller's predilection for big bets and strategic excellence. He famously led George Soros’ $10 billion bet against the British pound and ran his investment firm, Duquesne Capital, for 30 years without a down year.

The Seminal Moment for Philanthropist Connie Duckworth

What hooked you in your philanthropy? Connie Duckworth’s “seminal moment” happened on a winter trip to Kabul, Afghanistan.

Leadership Critical to the Success of KIPP Public Charter Schools, say Doris Fisher and John, Her Son

KIPP schools give significant responsibility to their school leaders. That makes finding and supporting strong principals an important success factor.

Philanthropy Gets Personal: Melinda Gates Uses Her Voice to Empower Women

More than 200 million women in developing countries who don’t want to get pregnant lack access to contraceptives. Melinda Gates is working to change that.

The Philanthropy of Roger Hertog: Using Business Savvy in Service of Profound Ideas

Roger Hertog's philanthropy is based on a deep belief in the power of ideas, a need to face profound questions, and a business savvy that marked his for-profit career.

Steve Hilton on the Hilton Humanitarian Prize—and Its Impact

At $1.5 million, the Hilton Humanitarian Prize is the largest humanitarian award, but its effects may reach beyond mere money.

Swanee Hunt: Joining in Sisterhood to Help Women and Girls

Women Moving Millions is one example of Swanee Hunt's dedication to empowering women and girls.

Barbara and Pitt Hyde Use Sweat Equity and Perseverance to Reform Education in Memphis

Through hard work and commitment, Barbara and Pitt Hyde have helped reform Tennessee education—making it an “overnight success” 20 years in the making.

Modern-Day Robin Hood Paul Tudor Jones on the Importance of Philanthropy Strategy

Energy, love, and money won't get you far without a strategy to achieve your giving goals, says the founder of the Robin Hood Foundation.

Why—and How—George Kaiser Brought Early Education Programs to Tulsa

"Birth to 3 years is a pivotal time for brain development. That's why George Kaiser brought Educare and other early learning programs to Tulsa."

Helping Others Build a Better Future: CK-12 Co-Founder Neeru Khosla on Individual Learning, Microfinance

Co-Founder of the CK-12 Foundation Neeru Khosla believes philanthropists must offer tools, not just money.

Fighting for Justice in Health: Three Strategies Risa Lavizzo-Mourey Uses to Create Change

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once called the injustice in health care the most shocking and inhumane” of all injustices. Here's how the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President works to change that.

Carolyn and Peter Lynch Share Three Keys to Effective Philanthropy

Wise investing, being patient, and conducting due diligence are three keys that can help philanthropists unlock results, say Carolyn and Peter Lynch.

Josh Mailman on How Philanthropy Can Help Businesses Be a Force for Good

Social Venture Network co-founder Josh Mailman has played a key role in organizations—both nonprofit and for-profit—that promote social good.

How Bernie Marcus Adapted His Philanthropy Strategy to Build Awareness for Autism

Bernie Marcus realized that in order to scale his early efforts to help those with autism, he needed to build awareness about the disease.

Henry McCance Draws on the VC Model for Philanthropic Collaboration

Surprised by the siloed approach Alzheimer's researchers were using, Henry McCance has encouraged collaboration to make faster progress.

Steve McCormick on Adapting Philanthropic Strategy to Save the Amazon Rainforest

The President of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation discusses why the foundation has moved towards sustainability practices.

How Philanthropist Mike Milken Uses His Voice and Convening Powers to Innovate Medicine
Mike Milken has worked hard to accelerate medical research. Here's how.

The Philanthropic Journey of Beloved Hollywood Icon Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox's revelation to the world about his Parkinson's disease led the actor to a new path of leadership in research and drug development through the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

John and Tashia Morgridge Trade Anonymous Giving for Public Philanthropy

When the Morgridges said yes to signing the Giving Pledge, they made a conscious decision to let go of their remaining anonymity.

Mario Morino on Why Nonprofits Should Focus on Outcomes—and Why Philanthropists Should Help Them

Nonprofits must (and must be empowered to) set clear goals that can be supported with rigorous measurement to determine progress, says Mario Morino.

Ensuring the Goals of a Benefactor Live On: How Christy Morse Leads the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies

For the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, CEO Christy Morse's focus on understanding Margaret Cargill's guiding vision while the benefactor was living has been key.

Three Insights on Impact Investing from eBay Founder Pierre Omidyar

Pierre Omidyar is using a hybrid model of for-profit/nonprofit philanthropy to create social change and achieve his philanthropic goals.

Pete Peterson Uses Money, Passion, and a Vigilant Focus to Achieve Large-Scale Change

By using a multipronged approach, Pete Peterson has successfully put a spotlight on the issue of national debt.

Innovation, Technology Keys to Global Equality, Says Gates Foundation CEO Jeff Raikes

Jeff Raikes discusses innovation—and roadblocks to delivering it—and how technology can help maximize philanthropy's effects.

Julian Robertson, Jr., Inspires Other Philanthropists

The Tiger Foundation has “begat,” in Robertson’s phrase, the Lone Pine, the Blue Ridge, and Shumway foundations. It's a process he hopes continues.

Edna McConnell Clark Foundation CEO Nancy Roob Discusses Donor Collaboration

In 2007, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation unveiled a new approach to fuel the growth of three of its high-performing grantees—which in turn are helping many, many more youth.

Harlem Educational Activities Fund Founder Daniel Rose Proud of His After-School Program

The HEAF founder discusses his after-school program and reflects on his philanthropic legacy.

Robert Rosenkranz Creates Debate on Hot-Button Issues with Intelligence Squared U.S.

Believing that public discourse in America is being threatened, Robert Rosenkranz created IQ2US as an important vehicle for new ideas.

Philanthropist David Rubenstein Recommends Giving More Than Money

David Rubenstein says, I tell everybody if you want to be a good philanthropist...you don’t just have to give away money: Give away your time, your energy, your ideas.

Big Grants, Short Applications: Herb and Marion Sandler Revitalize Stagnant Asthma Research

By offering attention-grabbing grants and streamlining applications, Herb and Marion Sandler attracted new kinds of researchers and innovative ideas to asthma research.

Jane Siebels Invests to Promote Positive Social Change

Green Cay Asset Management Founder Jane Siebels has found innovative ways to create positive social change, including using the markets as a force for good.

Lorie Slutsky Weaves Together Donor Funds for Maximum Synergy

The New York Community Trust President Lorie Slutsky uses the disparate threads of donors' money and causes to create a whole that's greater than the sum of its parts.

Why Tom Steyer Is Tackling Environmental Issues

To Tom Steyer, climate change is a moral issue, and one that requires a host of strategies to address.

IT Modernization in Hawaii: Kelvin Taketa, Pierre Omidyar, and the Power of Collaboration

Hawaii Community Foundation CEO Kelvin Taketa brokered a collaboration that will transform the state's archaic business information technology systems.

Turning Passion Into Philanthropy: Ted Turner's Work for Global Causes

Through the years, Ted Turner cut a larger-than-life figure as he made headlines and built his broadcast empire. Today, the founder and chairman emeritus of Turner Broadcasting Systems uses that energy in service of his passion project, the UN Foundation.

Collaboration, Due Diligence, and Measurement: Three Lessons on Philanthropy from Darren Walker
Darren Walker says that three keys to social change are focusing on the greater good, conducting due diligence, and recognizing that philanthropy tackles a diverse set of problems.

David Weekley Builds Up Nonprofits with Due Diligence and Measurement

"Dedicating time to philanthropy, rather than just money, has allowed the founder of David Weekley Homes to contribute his business expertise to building up nonprofits."

John Whitehead's Mission to Build Nonprofit Leadership Capacity

Although strong leadership is key to a nonprofit's effectiveness, too many leaders lack management training. John Whitehead has worked to change that.


To see a list of donors video pages, please click here. To read about the Conversations with Remarkable Givers video project, please see here.

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