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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Assessing Research for Philanthropic Funding : Innovative Approaches

September 1, 2023

This publication on responsible research assessment aims to explore diverse approaches taken by foundations to enhance the fairness, transparency and effectiveness of evaluating research proposals for funding. The publication delves into three distinct methodologies that challenge traditional assessment methods and offer innovative alternatives: 1. Using artificial intelligence (AI); 2. Adopting narrative curriculum vitae (CVs); and 3. Implementing randomised selection. It provides an overview of general principles of responsible research assessment, key framing documents and recommendations for implementing these principles; and offers examples of the real-world application of these methods by various foundations and organisations.While these approaches demonstrate the innovative potential within research assessment, they are by no means an exhaustive representation of all available tools and methods. Nevertheless, they serve as compelling illustrations of the ongoing efforts to revolutionise evaluation practices and foster a more inclusive and equitable research ecosystem.

Ethical issues and Good Practices; Evaluation and Learning; Grantmaking and Programme Management; Science and Technology; Technology and Foundations

How to Fund Tech

April 1, 2022

This guide is for people working in trusts and foundations who want to effectively fund technology.Many trusts and foundations are grappling with the same challenges: they want to support impactful, inclusive technology and innovation in not-for-profit organisations and address the societal changes brought about by emerging technology.This guide offers guidance and processes to help in understanding the technical maturity of not-for-profit organisations, or assessing the feasibility of technology-heavy grants. It also gives notes on how to have productive conversations with grantees and partners about technology.The contents of this guide are shaped around conversations within foundations that are focused on equality, justice and human rights.

Grantmaking and Programme Management; Science and Technology; Technology and Foundations

Philanthropy and Digital Civil Society: Blueprint 2022

December 14, 2021

Philanthropy and Digital Civil Society: Blueprint is an annual industry forecast about the ways we use private resources for public benefit in the digital age. Each year, the Blueprint provides an overview of the current landscape, points to big ideas that matter, and directs your attention to horizons where you can expect some important breakthroughs in the coming year.

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector, Civil Society; Philanthropy, Theory, Philosophy and History; Science and Technology; Technology and Foundations

Future of Philanthropy: the Key Trends : Meta-analysis of Forecasts

January 1, 2020

This working paper has been prepared at the request of the Center for Philanthropy Development of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation and offers a review of the key trends in global philanthropy development. It features and analyzes opinions of leading international experts and organizations of the philanthropic sector about factors, contexts and principles influencing philanthropy of the future, as well as cause-and-effect links between them. Better understanding of sector-wide and worldwide transformation processes would enable philanthropic organizations to use more informed approach to strategic target setting. The suggested vision of key development vectors in the sector may serve as a basis for further researches and professional discussions.

Ethical issues and Good Practices; Philanthropy, Theory, Philosophy and History; Technology and Foundations; Venture Philanthropy

Foundation Horizon Scan: Taking the long view. Provocations

January 11, 2019

This collection of provocations is published in tandem with the report Foundation Horizon Scan:Taking the long view (, which explores the challenges foundations and grant-giving organisations will face over this decade in order to maintain their legitimacy and impact. For this annex, seven leaders and thinkers working in and around foundations were asked to provide their perspective on the future role of foundations over this pivotal decade.

Ethical issues and Good Practices; Foundation Sector, History and Analysis; Technology and Foundations

Making Wise Decisions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Selecting the Right Data System

January 31, 2018

Making Wise Decisions is a free toolkit for nonprofits that want to find a data system that meets their needs.Developed by experts in program evaluation and data system development, Making Wise Decisions offers user-friendly, step-by-guidance to organizations that are considering adopting a new data management system. The toolkit includes an interactive self-assessment that nonprofits can use to refine their list of likely data systems, alongside team-based activities to use to navigate the process start to finish. It cuts through the jargon and sales-speak to equip nonprofits with the tools they need to find the right data system.

Science and Technology; Technology and Foundations

Philanthropy and Digital Civil Society: Blueprint 2019

January 1, 2018

This report is an annual industry forecast about the ways private resources are used for public benefit in the digital age. Each year, the Blueprint provides an overview of the current landscape, points to big ideas that matter, and directs the attention to horizons where some important breakthroughs can be expected in the coming year.

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector, Civil Society; Science and Technology; Technology and Foundations

Digital Security & Grantcraft Guide : an Introduction Guide for Funders

March 1, 2017

Digital security breaches can cause harm to grantees, as well as their clients, beneficiaries, and partner organizations. These threats also pose a risk to grantmakers and to the larger strategies of impacted organizations. Security leaks can compromise an organization's ability to carry out its work, and can erode trust between civil society actors.This guide is to help grantmakers both assess and address digital security concerns. It explores the types of digital threats against civil society and the obstacles to addressing them. It explains how to conduct a digital security "triage" of grants to elevate the digital security of your whole grant portfolio; while playing special attention to the highest risk grantees. And it provides suggestions for pathways to think more systematically about digital security.

Grantmaking and Programme Management; Science and Technology; Technology and Foundations

Valuing Data: How to Use It in Your Grant-Making

November 2, 2016

Valuing data: How to use it in your grant-making |There are over 10,000 charitable foundations in the UK. Between them, they generate a vast amount of data. But this data has not traditionally been seen as a resource in the same way that money has been, and this is a missed opportunity. This report outlines how grant-makers can use data at both an individual and a collective level to improve their funding practice.

Grantmaking and Programme Management; Technology and Foundations

Data Ethics: Investing Wisely in Data at Scale

September 1, 2016

"Data at scale" -- digital information collected, stored and used in ways that are newly feasible -- opens new avenues for philanthropic investment. At the same time, projects that leverage data at scale create new risks that are not addressed by existing regulatory, legal and best practice frameworks. Data-oriented projects funded by major foundations are a natural proving ground for the ethical principles and controls that should guide the ethical treatment of data in the social sector and beyond.This project is an initial effort to map the ways that data at scale may pose risks to philanthropic priorities and beneficiaries, for grantmakers at major foundations, and draws from desk research and unstructured interviews with key individuals involved in the grantmaking enterprise at major U.S. foundations. The resulting report was prepared at the joint request of the MacArthur and Ford Foundations.

Ethical issues and Good Practices; Knowledge and Data Management; Technology and Foundations

A Consumers Guide to Grants Management Systems 2016

May 1, 2016

This report has been released by Grants Managers Network (GMN) and Technology Affinity Group (TAG), with research conducted by Idealware. The report compares 29 grants management systems across 174 requirements criteria, looks at what each system does, and compares the strengths and weaknesses of each system available to grantmakers. The report looks at how they stack up against high-level categories and details the functionality of each system against specific criteria important to the grant-making community.

Grantmaking and Programme Management; Technology and Foundations

Giving a Bit(coin): Cryptocurrency and Philanthropy

May 1, 2015

New online currencies such as Bitcoin could be the answer to charities becoming more transparent over how they spend donations.This discussion paper looks at some of the implications for the future of philanthropy and charitable giving of new models of online 'cryptocurrencies', such as Bitcoin. It highlights some of the challenges and opportunities, and raises a series of key questions that need to be addressed if the potential of 'crypto-philanthropy' is to be realised.

Technology and Foundations

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