Knowledge Letter - January 2021 - How Philanthropy Can Support Systems-Change Leaders; Faith-Inspired Impact

Investing in systems change and recognizing the role of faith-based organizations
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January 2021
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Knowledge Letter
Strategies for Social Impact

How Philanthropy Can Support Systems-Change Leaders

By Lija Farnham, Emma Nothmann, Zoe Tamaki, Nate Harding, and Cora Daniels

Success in solving complex social problems frequently hinges on the work of organizations that harmonize the action of myriad actors—often referred to as field catalysts, systems orchestrators, or coalitions. Yet philanthropy too often overlooks them, as they defy traditional due-diligence criteria. Breaking through will require philanthropy to reboot how it engages with these pivotal entities as critical catalysts and leaders of systems change.

Related Content:
due-diligence guide systems change leaders
Due-Diligence Guide to Support Systems-Change Leaders

In this companion resource to “How Philanthropy Can Support Systems-Change Leaders,” we share an alternative due-diligence approach tailored to work that is evolving and adaptive in nature.

Download the Guide >>

Elevating the Role of Faith-Inspired Impact in the Social Sector

By Jeri Eckhart Queenan, Peter Grunert, and Devin Murphy

Considering trends of religious disaffiliation in the United States, you might be surprised to learn that faith-based organizations deliver 40 percent of vital human services across six representative cities. Indeed, faith-inspired impact remains a bulwark of support in the country—and the differential importance of faith in Black, Latinx, and other marginalized communities might offer opportunities for social sector actors to raise their impact where it matters most.


Webinar: What Are Intended Impact and Theory of Change and How Can Nonprofits Use Them?


As a nonprofit leader, having a clear and effective strategy can help you make the best decisions to achieve impact for your organization’s community. But developing a clear strategy can be a long process, full of difficult tradeoffs.

You can smooth the path to strategic clarity by starting with a defined intended impact and theory of change (II/TOC). Together, these two powerful concepts can help your organization refine the goals it commits to achieve and map the road for how to accomplish them.

In this free webinar, you’ll:
  • Think through how II/TOC builds a strong foundation for an effective strategy
  • Hear about how other nonprofit leaders approached this challenge
  • Learn to use a simple but powerful II/TOC toolkit to start this work for your organization

Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Time: 3 p.m. ET, 12 p.m. PT

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