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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Atlantic Insights: Giving While Living

September 1, 2017

Written by journalist and philanthropy expert Heidi Waleson, the book explores Founder Charles "Chuck" Feeney's long-standing belief in "Giving While Living," the idea that people with wealth should use it during their lifetimes to help others. It also features other donors who have decided to devote the majority of their fortunes to philanthropy.For additional information: 

Philanthropy, Theory, Philosophy and History

What Ambitious Donors Can Learn From The Atlantic Philanthropies' Experience Making Big Bets

October 18, 2016

By the time The Atlantic Philanthropies closes its doors in 2020, it will have distributed more than $8 billion—its entire endowment—to advance opportunity and lasting change for disadvantaged and vulnerable people worldwide. Founded in 1982, it was Founder Chuck Feeney's intention to champion "giving while living" and when the foundation closes, Atlantic will make history by becoming the largest foundation to complete its giving in the donor's lifetime.In its grant making, over 60 percent of Atlantic's overall giving ranks as big bets, investments of $10 million or more. Thirty percent of those bets went to social change causes, including gifts to human services, the environment, and international development. Such big bets have the potential to have big impacts on advancing social change goals. Yet as Bridgespan reported in the December 2015 Stanford Social Innovation Review article, "Making Big Bets for Social Change," investments of this size for social change are rare. Just 20 percent of philanthropic big bets went to social change causes between 2000 and 2012.Why? A number of barriers exist: it's hard to find and structure big bets, "shovel-ready" opportunities are few and far between, personal relationships between donors and nonprofit leaders can take years to nurture, and the long time horizons required for change and often-murky results make it difficult to measure success. In short, big bets on social change can feel risky.The story of Atlantic, however, illustrates what can happen when donors take that risk. This report, What Ambitious Donors Can Learn From The Atlantic Philanthropies' Experience Making Big Bets, looks at a number of big bets Atlantic made and how those achieved significant results. It identified four themes that ran through Atlantic's work and that were particularly evident in its most influential big bets:Pick distinctive investment spots and funding gaps in the landscape.Support organizations and strong leaders, often with unrestricted or capacity-building funding.Pursue advocacy in a complex social, policy and legal environment, and use both traditional grant funding and 501(c)(4) funding as tools.Give with the foundation's end in sight and sustainability in mind.The report also highlights the challenges and failures Atlantic faced along the way. Despite the inherent risk in big bets, Atlantic held the belief that a big bets strategy would be the best way to achieve lasting impact. It is a promising path that is yielding strong results, and Atlantic's experience offers potential strategies for other donors seeking similar goals.

Grantmaking and Programme Management

Philanthropy Working With Government : A Case Study of The Atlantic Philanthropies' Partnership with the Irish Government

September 1, 2016

This study examines the extent to which The Atlantic Philanthropies' approach of working with government to influence policy and practice, with a particular focus on public service reform, can be considered innovative and successful. The study focuses on the period from 2003 to 2014.

Collaborative Philanthropy and Partnerships; Evaluation and Learning

Public Interest Litigation and Social Change in South Africa: Strategies, Tactics and Lessons

October 1, 2014

In 2007, The Atlantic Philanthropies approached two legal practitioners, Gilbert Marcus SC and Steven Budlender, to conduct an evaluation of public interest litigation in South Africa, following The Atlantic Philanthropies' substantial investment in the field. The resulting report -- A strategic evaluation of public interest litigation in South Africa -- was published in 2008. This 2008 report has now evolved into a book entitled Public interest litigation and social change in South Africa: Strategies, tactics and lessons, with a further co-author, Nick Ferreira. The book is a revised and substantially expanded version of the initial study, providing new insights and covering post-2008 developments in the field of public interest litigation in South Africa. The book will be relevant to anyone interested in how to best use rights, law and litigation to advance social change.

Human Rights, Citizenship, Democracy

Social Economy Age Programme Evaluation

January 1, 2013

Philanthropists and Foundations have paid increasing attention to impact investment and how grant strategies leave a more lasting legacy from the projects and programmes they support. Similarly, the social economy has being growing as an alternative to the privatisation of social care and the rundown of welfare across a range of western states and societies. Social economics is framed as an arena where social objectives are pursued through everyday businesses and profitable activities but where a strong commitment to redistribution, democratic control and community ownership offers a platform for more independent forms of advocacy and social change.

Ageing; Grantmaking and Programme Management; Socio-economic Development, Poverty

Harvest Time for The Atlantic Philanthropies - 2011-2012: Focus, Exit, and Legacy

December 31, 2012

This report is the third in a series to chronicle the concluding years of The Atlantic Philanthropies, the largest foundation ever to decide to commit its entire endowment in a limited timeframe and then close its doors.It covers events that occurred from late 2010 through September 2012, some four to five years before Atlantic expects to make its final grant commitments, including:an intense 10-month strategic planning process to narrow its grantmaking focus and set a timetable for the foundation's concluding period for each programme and each country where it operatesstaff concerns as the realities of the end of foundation set inHuman Resources' plans to help employees prepare for their post-Atlantic careers and positive reactions to the release of an explicit policy on severancean examination into the issue of grantee sustainability, particularly in countries and programmes where replacement funders are unlikely.In-depth case studies explore Atlantic's impact and the challenge of grantee sustainability in two focus areas: efforts to abolish the death penalty in the U.S. and to promote the rights of the rural poor in South Africa.

Administration and Management; Employment and Labour; Grantmaking and Programme Management; Human Rights, Citizenship, Democracy

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