The Philea Virtual Library

The Philea Virtual Library includes over 1,000 free-to-download publications from a range of organisations and publishers on the topics of philanthropy, the management of foundations and the areas they are involved in and support. As a Philea member you can send us your publications for inclusion in the library which will also be added to the global IssueLab network where they will be made available to an extended audience, including users of Worldcat, the global catalogue used by tens of thousands of libraries. For questions or assistance, please contact the Philea Virtual Library.
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Funding Organisational Development: a smart investment to multiply impact : Views from five Foundations

September 10, 2020

Oak Foundation together with Laudes Foundation, MAVA Foundation, Mercator Foundation and PeaceNexus Foundation reflected on, articulated and shared their learning about supporting Organisational Development (OD). In this paper they share their key insights on how to engage in OD, describe a standard OD process and address dilemmas. It promotes OD as a key dimension in the daily work of any grant making foundation.

Administration and Management; Evaluation and Learning

EFC Gender Equality Network: Initial Gender Mainstreaming Assessment

December 1, 2019

The members of the Gender Equality Network have initiated an assessment to reflect on and share their experiences in integrating the gender dimension structurally into their organisational policies, practices and culture in the pursuit of greater equality.This report offers an initial analysis of the experiences and approaches of six funders; C&A Foundation, Foundation CHANEL, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, King Baudouin Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and the Wellcome Trust.

Administration and Management; Ethical issues and Good Practices; Gender and Women

Understanding & Sharing What Works: The State of Foundation Practice

November 8, 2018

The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) surveyed private and community foundation leaders regarding what they know about what is and isn't working in their foundations' efforts to achieve their goals. Drawing from 119 survey responses and in-depth interviews with 41 foundation CEOs, the report finds that while the majority of foundation CEOs believe they understand well what is working in their programmatic efforts, more than 40 percent believe their foundation is not investing enough time and money in developing that understanding.

Administration and Management; Grantmaking and Programme Management; Knowledge and Data Management

Philanthropy's Reflective Practices

August 9, 2018

What do skilled philanthropy practitioners have in common? They are active learners about the fields, issues and places they support. That is their first discipline. And, they work at creating meaningful connections with grantees and others, especially when power imbalances, difficult conversations or differing viewpoints are at play. This is their second discipline. In this guide, you will find their stories about using four methods of reflective practice that can help you build what you bring to advancing change inside your foundation, with your grantees and other partners.

Administration and Management; Giving and Volunteering; Philanthropy, Theory, Philosophy and History

Onboarding Best Practices: A Guide for Onboarding New Staff

January 17, 2018

Effective onboarding can help your organization reduce costs associated with staff turnover and ensure that new employees are set up for success. According to a 2010 Society for Human Resource Management study, "employees in a well-structured onboarding program are 69 percent more likely to remain at the company after three years." The effects of onboarding last for years, so it is worthwhile to spend time considering the best approach for your organization.This guide provides templates and tools for effective onboarding that can be modified to meet the needs of any organization. It focuses on three stages of onboarding: (1) What needs to happen before the employee begins (2) That crucial first day (3) The first week and beyond. It also includes a sample evaluation for employees to take about the onboarding process itself. This provides organizations with ongoing feedback about the onboarding process.

Administration and Management

Frameworks for Private Foundations: A New Model for Impact

June 27, 2017

Philanthropy is evolving more quickly than ever with new societal challenges, new players, and new strategies. Funders are seeking to increase their effectiveness, and want clear, practical guidance for getting there. This GrantCraft leadership series paper produced in partnership with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), explores the core frameworks that shape private foundations, and offers a roadmap for funders interested in reflecting on these frameworks to better align purpose, public benefit, and action.

Administration and Management; Philanthropy, Theory, Philosophy and History

Benchmarking Program Officer Roles and Responsibilities

June 1, 2017

The role of the program officer at foundations is one of great importance. This is not news to the thousands of nonprofit organizations relying on program officers for crucial information, guidance, and funding. Yet, we know relatively little about the role that program officers play at foundations and with nonprofits. What are the backgrounds and experiences of program officers? What are the job responsibilities on which they spend the most time? How do they view their relationships with grantees? In the following pages, we share the results of a survey we conducted, in mid-2016, to gain a better understanding of the role of the program officer. We sent surveys to over 300 program officers who we randomly selected from foundations that give at least $5 million annually. We received responses from 150 individuals for a response rate of 48 percent.

Administration and Management

Risk Management for Philanthropy: A Toolkit

January 2, 2017

Risk is a fundamental component of philanthropists' success. Philanthropists invest money to achieve certain specified outcomes, and like any investment, that transaction is governed by the interplay between risk and return. While philanthropy has taken strides in recent years to build out the monitoring and evaluation systems necessary to measure and determine our return—described as impact—we routinely ignore the risk half of the equation.To address this gap, Open Road Alliance, Rockefeller Foundation, and Arabella Advisors convened the Commons— a diverse task force that represents all facets of philanthropy, including foundations, nonprofits, impact service providers, nonprofit attorneys, wealth advisors, and philanthropic associations. The Commons confirmed that the lack of open conversation about potential risk is a major problem for the field, and developed a first set of user-friendly tools to help funders implement better risk practices. These tools are broadly applicable across the philanthropic sector and can help all types of funders, from those first beginning to discuss risk internally to those who are evaluating the effectiveness of their risk management strategies after several years. With this toolkit, we seek to encourage funders to establish a deliberate risk profile and integrate risk management into their philanthropic practice.

Administration and Management; Evaluation and Learning; Finance and Investment; Governance, Boards and Strategy; Grantmaking and Programme Management

Foundations and the Ambiguity of Success and Failure : A Case Collection

October 1, 2016

The Hertie School releases its findings from an international research project "Foundation Successes and Failures: Implications for Policy and Management – Developing a Case studies Repertoire". Professor Helmut K. Anheier led the research project, which was made possible by the Robert Bosch Foundation. The project looks at 20 case studies of philanthropic foundations from a range of fields in seven countries including Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom. The primary intended purpose is to be used by foundation boards, foundation staff training and executive education. The vignettes may also serve teaching purposes at university master level programs, particularly in public policy and business schools. For example, several will become teaching cases at the Harvard Business School.One major conclusion based on the collection of case studies is that 'success' and 'failure' are not as clear cut as it would appear. Any claims of failure or success should be approached with caution, and there are no simple solutions for high impact results or maximized philanthropic contributions. Despite ambiguity, planning and performance measures are better than none at all. A fuller analysis will be forthcoming as a book in 2017 published by Helmut K. Anheier and Diana Leat (London: Routledge).

Administration and Management; Evaluation and Learning; Grantmaking and Programme Management

Form and Function: a view of the financial and operational practices of south african private philanthropic foundations

March 1, 2016

This report "Form and Function" reflects the research undertaken into the governance, financial management and grantmaking practice of twenty one South African philanthropic foundations during the course of 2015. This report was to assist existing foundations as well as emerging entities to benchmark their practice. Based on an extensive questionnaire, interviews were done with 21 foundations through their representatives including foundation staff as well as the founders.

Administration and Management; Foundation Sector, History and Analysis

Good Governance of Foundations

January 1, 2016

The Good Governance of Foundations guidelines is based on the new Foundations Act which entered into force i Finland on 1 December 2015. The guidelines are meant to help and guide people working in foundations: members of the board of directors and the administrative council of the foundations, managing directors, secretaries general, functionaries and those planning to establish a foundation.Even though the recommendations have been prepared within the circle of foundations that allocate grants, the aim has been that the principles could be applied in foundations' operations in general. The guidelines are meant to encourage foundations to prepare and maintain their own operational guidelines in accordance with the best practices in the field. A part of the Good Governance of Foundations guidelines are based on mandatory legislation, while a part of them are merely recommended practices. Since the foundations differ from each other based on their operations and size, each foundation should decide on how and to what extent the guidelines shall be applied.More information:

Administration and Management; Governance, Boards and Strategy; Legislation and Taxation

Foundations Got Talent! Workbook on Strategic Human Resource and Talent Management for Foundations

December 1, 2015

Although large foundations may have established "professional" HR functions, the integrated approach used in many foundations often means that there may not be an "HR specialist" on staff. This workbook is geared toward all those who have an interest in the way people performance can be maximised in support of their foundation's performance. It provides:A basic framework for strategic people practices: What it is and why it's important.Ideas on how to put people management and HR strategies into practice within a foundation.A tool to help identify which people management activities are working well and how to build on the organisation's achievements to increase the contribution people make to the organisation as a whole - this will also help to envisage what else can be done to support the transition process for a foundation that needs to change and develop.Some proven insights for a better understanding of the dynamic process of human and organisational development and the role of leadership in foundations.It can help your foundation:Review the way people management can add value to the foundation, both now and in the future.Identify internal factors and opportunities for HR to further support and manage organisational performance.Establish a framework for supporting organisational transition and development through effective people management activities.Ensure clarity about the people management issues that affect the organisation's performance.Develop sustainable yet flexible people management practices appropriate to a foundation.

Administration and Management

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