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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Advancing Evaluation Practices in Philanthropy

May 1, 2012

In recent years, the philanthropic sector has neared consensus on the need to improve measurement and evaluation of its work. Although the philanthropies they lead use different methods, members of the Aspen Philanthropy Group (APG) have agreed that basic principles and practices can inform efforts to monitor performance, track progress, and assess the impact of foundation strategies, initiatives, and grants. They hope to build a culture of learning in the process.

Evaluation and Learning

Foundation Sunset: A Decision-Making Guide

November 29, 2011

This research-based guide represents a distillation of the author's observations from studying sunset foundations. In an earlier study the author analyzed survey data on over 800 foundations, including 70 limited life foundation and interviewed trustees, donors and staff of 29 foundations planning or considering limited life. That research sought to chart the typical and representative aspects of sunsetting, and found that many sunsetting foundations do not link their longevity to a philanthropic strategy. In more recent research, the author conducted case studies of four foundations that took a deliberate and planned approach to sunsetting. These foundations therefore are well-suited to understanding how sunsetting can function as a philanthropic strategy.

Administration and Management; Governance, Boards and Strategy; Grantmaking and Programme Management

Sunsetting : a Framework for Foundation Life as Well as Death

September 14, 2011

The report on foundations that decide to spend all of their funds and close, rather than continue in perpetuity, by Francie Ostrower, Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, provide important lessons and a guide to decision-making for foundations that "sunset" or "spend down."Ostrower surveys donors, foundation family members, trustees, staff grantees and archival documents from four sunsetting foundations to glean best practices and lessons that can be applied to other sunsetting, as well as perpetual, foundations. The foundations studied include the Beldon Fund, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Jacobs Family Foundation, and the Pear Foundation, The study reveals that ironically, sunsetting foundations are greatly concerned about the sustainability of their values. All four foundations provided a core set of grantees with ongoing general operating support and assistance as a means of carrying on their values. The author argues that this approach, when combined with a specific philanthropic purpose, allows foundations to build unusually strong and effective partnerships with grantees. In addition, there are lessons to be learned from sunsetting foundations that can be applied to perpetual foundations. For example, perpetual foundations can view individual program areas as "miniature sunsets," with a clearly-defined beginning, middle, and end.

Administration and Management; Finance and Investment; Grantmaking and Programme Management

The Artist as Philanthropist: Strengthening the Next Generation of Artist-endowed Foundations: A Study of the Emerging Artist-endowed Foundation Field in the US

November 5, 2010

This study is the first to focus solely on private foundations created by visual artists in the U.S. The first volume presents an overview of the artist-endowed foundation field and covers its history, profiles the largest foundations, and provides quantitative data. The second volume discusses practices in forming, sustaining, and terminating these foundations, as well as conducting charitable programs. Also includes a collection of briefing papers intended to broaden the information context for new artist-endowed foundations. With bibliographical references.

Arts and Culture; Foundation Sector, History and Analysis

Opening Opportunities, Building Ownership: Fulfilling the Promise of Microenterprise in the United States

February 1, 2005

Reviews two decades of work in the microenterprise field by examining the evolution of the industry, past accomplishments, current weaknesses, and potential for growth. Details critical challenges and recommends a set of new directions for the field.

Employment and Labour; Socio-economic Development, Poverty

U.S. in the World, Talking Global Issues With Americans: A Practical Guide

July 14, 2004

This guide supports the work of advocates of pragmatic, principled, effective, and collaborative US engagement in the world. It draws on the latest communications research and the insights of experts to outline facts and arguments, and offer ways to put them across to non-expert American audiences. It is designed to help those who already know the issues well and could benefit from expert experience on how to engage a large segment of the public.

International Affairs, Global Challenges

Foundation Accountability and Effectiveness

September 1, 2002

This short pamphlet is a summary of the findings of a three day conference on the philanthropy landscape in the United States at the beginning of the 21st century. It offers several suggestions for increased foundation accountability and effectiveness towards reaching the potential of the United States third sector.

Ethical issues and Good Practices; Philanthropy, Theory, Philosophy and History

Connectors and Conduits: Reaching Competitive Markets from the Ground Up: The Access to Markets Demonstration Final Report

August 14, 2002

The subject of this report is the Access to Markets (ATM) Demonstration and Learning Assessment, an innovative Mott Foundation strategy. ATM was launched in 1997 as a challenge to increase access to more lucrative markets for microbusinesses. The report explores topics such as typology and best practices of ATM, client characteristics, costs, outcomes and lessons to be drawn.

Employment and Labour; Socio-economic Development, Poverty

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