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Philanthropy in the 21st Century: A Guide for Thinkers and Doers
Source: Forbes  ·  March 8, 2012  ·  Excerpt

Whether it is evidenced in the Arab Spring or the financial meltdown, weather extremes or civil conflict, we are experiencing rapid and sometimes wrenching change that no single sector can manage on its own. Globalization—that combination of the information revolution and economic integration—has empowered new actors. And it has created a new imperative for collaboration among them. Governments cannot solve all problems. Nor can markets or even an ingenious citizen sector. It takes us all. We believe that the combination of need and new capacity is bringing about an evolution of the social contract—the means by which societies allocate responsibility and resources for advancing the public good.

Philanthropists want to better understand and help enable this transformation.

Be they from Palo Alto, São Paulo, Beijing or Bangalore, the “new philanthropists” who are members of the Global Philanthropy Forum have been among the beneficiaries of globalization. They come together annually to explore ways to assure that its benefits are more broadly and equitably shared and its dangers mitigated. While they do not claim to have the answers—far from it—they are eager to learn from and support those who do. They believe that by tapping the ingenuity of inventive actors from all societies and sectors they can contribute to positive change. And when solutions fall at the intersection of sectors, they may capture the assets of each: be it the transparency and accountability of democratic governments, the efficiency and scale of private enterprise, or the agility and responsiveness of the social sector. To that philanthropy adds risk-taking capital—and a willingness to take the long view.

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Our take
In our current age of easy information access and connectivity, inspiration can come from many places. It is now just as relevant, even to small organizations, to monitor global trends as it is to stay connected to local shifts in attitudes about giving. The above example illustrates just that.

Compass Pointe can help you tap into philanthropic research and knowledge at the local, regional, national levels and beyond. Contact us now for assistance in addressing these and other issues:

  • What is happening (in and outside of philanthropy) right now that could potentially benefit or impact my organization?
  • How can I capitalize on innovations from other sectors or industries? What can be learned from successesw (or failures) in those sectors?


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