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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The State of Impact Measurement and Management Practice

December 1, 2017

This report presents findings from the GIIN's first comprehensive survey of the state of impact measurement and management (IMM) in the impact investing industry.Impact management is the process by which impact investors can understand the effects of their investments on people and the planet, and set goals to adapt processes and improve outcomes. Over the years, the impact investing industry has dedicated increasing resources to IMM, deepening the sophistication of practice as the industry has developed.It captures data from 169 impact investing organizations to provide valuable insights into why impact investors measure and manage their social and environmental impact, how they do so, and challenges that remain. By providing critical data and transparency regarding IMM practice, this report enables investors to better understand this core element of impact investing.

Evaluation and Learning; Finance and Investment

Toward Water Sustainability: A Blueprint for Philanthropy

March 14, 2016

This document offers a blueprint for collaborative and expanded philanthropic action to advance sustainable water management at a scale never before attempted in the water field. The blueprint was developed by the Water Funder Initiative (WFI), an effort launched by a group of foundations that recognizes the urgent need to solve water problems. WFI is a collaborative initiative to identify and activate promising water solutions through strategic philanthropic investments in the United States, starting in the West where scarcity and reliability of clean water are urgent issues.Water is the essence of life and vital to the well-being of every person, economy, and ecosystem on the planet. But around the globe and here in the United States, water challenges are mounting as climate change, population growth, and other drivers of water stress increase. Public, private, and philanthropic investment in water solutions has not been commensurate with the challenges we face. This underinvestment has led to heightened conflicts and costly litigation among water users as drought and other extreme weather have caused billions of dollars in damage. Precipitous declines in water supplies - both above and below ground - simply cannot be sustained, nor can we continue operating with deteriorating infrastructure and outdated policies that further jeopardize human communities and freshwater ecosystems.Philanthropy can - and must - play a more pivotal role in addressing 21st century water challenges. Effective, strategic, and collaborative grantmaking already has made a difference by advancing critical policy reforms and new water management practices in some places. But with the pressures intensifying, now is the time for the field to rapidly scale up this progress and transform our relationship with water from reactive crisis management to long-term sustainability.WFI is starting with a focus on the American West, where nearly a third of the nation's people and GDP depend on increasingly unreliable water supplies. In this region, as in many other parts of the world, risks are rising for cities, rural economies, low-income communities, recreational industries, and natural freshwater systems. Although the initial focus is on the American West, many of the approaches are applicable elsewhere in the world, and lessons from other regions can help solve water problems confronting the West.

Environment and Sustainable Development

Special Collection: Sustainable Fisheries

November 1, 2014

This collection, which has been launched with the involvment and the contribution of The Rockefeller Foundation, an EFC member, explores issues around fisheries management, describing some of the challenges faced by small-scale fisheries worldwide and evaluating their efforts to address these challenges and to improve the health and well-being of the people who are dependent on these threatened environments.

Environment and Sustainable Development; Food and Agriculture; Knowledge and Data Management

The Rockefeller Foundation's Program-Related Investment Portfolio

June 19, 2014

In 2013, the Rockefeller Foundation funded an independent evaluation, conducted by Arabella Advisors, of 12 years of program-related investments (PRIs) made both domestically and internationally. The findings of our evaluation address the portfolio's social and financial performance, as well as opportunities to refine the PRI program strategy and align it with the foundation's focus areas and grant-making programs. The report also considers the foundation's contributions to the larger impact investing ecosystem. The foundation has since adjusted its practices based on the report's findings, many of which are relevant to anyone interested in PRIs or related approaches to impact investing.

Finance and Investment

Digital Storytelling for Social Impact

May 6, 2014

The Rockefeller Foundation commissioned this study to explore the power of narrative and networked communication to expand the reach and resources of social impact organizations; identify unmet needs in the field; and recommend useful tools, techniques and technologies that can elevate the practice of digital storytelling for social impact.

Communication and Public Relations; Journalism and Media

Beyond Charity: A Century of Philanthropic Innovation

January 1, 2013

This book shows how the evolution of the Foundation's innovative practices have helped to shape the direction and pattern of philanthropy over the course of one hundred years.

Foundation Sector, History and Analysis; Philanthropy, Theory, Philosophy and History

Risk and Philanthropy: Systemisation, Education and Professionalisation

October 1, 2012

This paper examines how risks in international development philanthropy are defined, assessed and managed. It reports the conclusions from a series of 27 interviews conducted with development philanthropists, philanthropic intermediaries, grantmakers from leading international foundations and sector academics in April 2012. It recommends ways through which risk that promotes innovation and expands opportunities might be optimised. Our findings will be of interest to philanthropists, grantmakers and those they seek to benefit. Our interviewees were primarily concerned with impact risk (i.e. the risk of not achieving a specified impact goal with a given level of philanthropic investment). Our report begins by defining the two main risks that were found to comprise this overall impact risk, namely: strategic risk and operational risk. Strategic risk is most often mentioned as the critical risk and is defined as the risk of not having an accurate strategic perspective on the social problems at hand. Operational risk, by contrast, is defined as not having the right operational approach or plan to support sustainable impact. Other risks include financial risks, reputational risks, political risks and personal risks. These latter risks are all of concern because they increase strategic or operational risks. We then explore how risks are assessed. We apply academic principles relating to anchoring (i.e. reference points based on prior experiences or contexts) and under-adjustment and Prospect Theory to the context of the philanthropic interventions our interviewees shared with us. We explain how risk perception is formed based on a philanthropist's past experience and the context of the risk assessment process. We discuss how philanthropists and philanthropic institutions use different decision rules depending on the categories of risks experienced and offer a range of recommendations for how risk taking might be facilitated. We then examine the critical topic of risk management, examining both impact and operational risk. In respect of the former we focus on the identification of appropriate beneficiary groups, additional special interest groups that may need to be considered and the selection of appropriate processes through which change might be bought about. In respect of the latter we examine the selection of appropriate business models and the importance of developing a diversified risk profile, an organisational learning culture, adequate control mechanisms and trust on the part of both beneficiaries and funders. The final section of the report draws together the thinking from previous sections and offers a series of recommendations, notably the need for the development of a professional support infrastructure that would expose new philanthropists to a body of knowledge designed to improve their chances of achieving sustainable impact. It could also facilitate the development of support networks to help philanthropists more accurately assess/manage risk and thereby optimise their decision-making.

Grantmaking and Programme Management

ACCCRN City Projects

August 1, 2012

As of August 2012, the Rockefeller Foundation has approved and funded 23 city projects that build urban climate change resilience (UCCR). These interventions have been initiated in the 10 core ACCCRN cities and have amounted to US $9.4 million, with some additional contributions from local governments and other local partners. Through ACCCRN, new projects in the 10 core cities will continue to be initiated until 2014, further expanding the base of practice. The city projects include both "hard" and "soft" measures, span multiple thematic sectors -- flood/ drainage, disaster risk reduction, water resources, housing and health -- with most projects addressing more than one sector in a single intervention. They also employ a range of approaches e.g. planning, further analysis, direct action, and coordination mechanisms.This catalogue provides a brief overview of ACCCRN city projects across 10 cities.The following project sheets provide basic information about the city project, intended impacts and key beneficiaries.They also highlight the climate change vulnerabilities and urban issues that each project aims to address, as well as how projects contribute to improved urban climate resilience of the city's systems. These aspects are further explained below and are highlighted in each project sheet.

Environment and Sustainable Development

Introduction à l'Evaluation d'Impact

March 1, 2012

This is the first guidance note in a four-part series of notes related to impact evaluation developed by InterAction with financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation.This first guidance note, Introduction to Impact Evaluation, provides an overview of impact evaluation, explaining how impact evaluation differs from -- and complements -- other types of evaluation, why impact evaluation should be done, when and by whom. It describes different methods, approaches and designs that can be used for the different aspects of impact evaluation: clarifying values for the evaluation, developing a theory of how the intervention is understood to work, measuring or describing impacts and other important variables, explaining why impacts have occurred, synthesizing results, and reporting and supporting use. The note discusses what is considered good impact evaluation -- evaluation that achieves a balance between the competing imperatives of being useful, rigorous, ethical and practical -- and how to achieve this.Exists also in English.The other notes of this series are: Faire le lien entre le suivi-évaluation et l'évaluation d'impact ; Introduction aux méthodes mixtes dans l'évaluation d'impact and Utilisation des résultats d'évaluations d'impact. (Available in the Library of Source OSBL and Imagine Canada)

Evaluation and Learning

Introduction to Impact Evaluation

March 1, 2012

This is the first guidance note in a four-part series of notes related to impact evaluation developed by InterAction with financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation.This first guidance note, Introduction to Impact Evaluation, provides an overview of impact evaluation, explaining how impact evaluation differs from -- and complements -- other types of evaluation, why impact evaluation should be done, when and by whom. It describes different methods, approaches and designs that can be used for the different aspects of impact evaluation: clarifying values for the evaluation, developing a theory of how the intervention is understood to work, measuring or describing impacts and other important variables, explaining why impacts have occurred, synthesizing results, and reporting and supporting use. The note discusses what is considered good impact evaluation -- evaluation that achieves a balance between the competing imperatives of being useful, rigorous, ethical and practical -- and how to achieve this.The other notes in this series are: Linking Monitoring & Evaluation to Impact Evaluation (http://sectorsource.ca/node/8261); Introduction to Mixed Methods in Impact Evaluation (http://sectorsource.ca/node/8254); and Use of Impact Evaluation Results (http://sectorsource.ca/node/8263). (Available in the Library of Source OSBL and Imagine Canada)Also available in French.

Evaluation and Learning

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