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Book Explores Traits of High-impact Philanthropists
Source: PC World  ·  April 14, 2011  ·  Excerpt

High-impact philanthropic efforts, from organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Cisco Systems, that have the most success at solving societal problems, share a common set of characteristics: They keep their focus on a small core of issues, establish networks of like-minded individuals, corporations and nonprofits for those target areas, and understand that it's not just about giving money, a new book on philanthropy said.

"They're committed to a few areas where they can really go deep," said John Kania, who with Leslie Crutchfield and Mark Kramer co-authored "Do More than Give: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World." The book, recently published by Jossey-Bass, details research done by the three in their roles at FSG, a nonprofit consultancy. The book follows up "Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits," written by Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant, and chosen as a top 10 business book by The Economist in 2007.

Advocacy is another key characteristic of funders who make the most difference. "It is rare [for corporations] to say we're going to train and deploy advocates," Crutchfield said. "That's why we wrote this book -- to hold up that: a., it's possible, and b., leading corporations are doing it, and c., you can, too."

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Our take
In the search for best practices, starting at the top is usually a good idea. And while it may seem that multi-billion dollar, global institutions like Bill Gates or Cisco Systems are doing things far beyond the scope of the average nonprofit organization, there are opportunities to adapt their practices at the local level. At Compass Pointe Consulting, we take it upon ourselves to help you identify and act upon those opportunities.

Contact us now for help answering these and other questions:

  • What can be learned from the best practices of larger organizations than my own, and how do I act upon the information gathered in daily operations?
  • What are the best sources of information, trends and analysis of what leading nonprofits and philanthropists are currently undertaking?


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