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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Operating Archetypes: Philanthropy’s New Analytical Tool for Strategic Clarity

April 27, 2022

This publication is part of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors' multiyear Theory of the Foundation initiative, which seeks to enhance the capacity of philanthropies to effectively align their resources for the impact they envision. Operating Archetypes is a new tool for action and alignment for funders seeking to optimize their operations and impact. We hope that both established and emerging funders, as well as the broader community of grantees and partners, will find this new analytical framework enriching and beneficial in their pursuit of thoughtful and effective philanthropy. 

Administration and Management; Governance, Boards and Strategy; Philanthropy, Theory, Philosophy and History

Strategic Time Horizons : A Global Snapshot of Foundation Approaches

January 1, 2020

Strategic time horizons are increasingly becoming the subject of thoughtful discussions within philanthropic organizations, causing a shift away from in-perpetuity models as the default approach. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) and NORC at the University of Chicago set out to conduct a global exploration of various dimensions of strategic time horizons in institutional giving.This report includes a global exploration of various dimensions of strategic time horizons and examines strategies and operations, as well as perceived advantages and disadvantages of different philanthropic timeframes.

Foundation Sector, History and Analysis; Governance, Boards and Strategy

Philanthropy and the SDGs: Practical Tools For Alignment

April 25, 2019

This guide provides practical steps for philanthropic funders that are ready to align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—the global agenda for people and planet adopted by all countries at the United Nations in 2015. In this guide, you'll learn how to plan, assess, report, and take action on the SDGs, and you'll read illuminating examples of other funders facing and resolving challenges similar to yours.

Environment and Sustainable Development; Grantmaking and Programme Management; International Affairs, Global Challenges

Philanthropy and the SDGs: Getting Started

April 25, 2019

In 2015, the countries of the world came together at the United Nations and signed on to a historic agreement called "Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," which included a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs chart a way forward to a just, secure, and sustainable future for people and the planet. This guide introduces the SDGs and explores how philanthropic funders can align with them to increase their impact on the issues they care about.

Environment and Sustainable Development; Grantmaking and Programme Management; International Affairs, Global Challenges

Scaling Solutions Toward Shifting Systems

October 1, 2017

This report marks the findings and recommendations RPA have so far in the process of encouraging funders to work in more collaborative ways to place longer-term, adaptive, and responsive resources with grantees and investees to accelerate scalable solutions that target systemic changes addressing pressing global problems. The input of dozens of funders, in addition to the perspectives of the organizations who receive grants and impact investments, was crucial in formulating the recommendations contained here.

Collaborative Philanthropy and Partnerships

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

The Theory of the Foundation European Initiative

January 23, 2017

The purpose of the Theory of the Foundation European Initiative was to contribute key insights into European foundations; and to look beyond the direct charitable activities or grant-making of European foundations and instead to explore and understand how foundations operate as organisations in their pursuit of mission and social impact. This we term a "whole foundation approach".Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) established a framework to stimulate discussion around the organisational form of philanthropy called "The Theory of the Foundation."1 Inspired by Peter Drucker's "Theory of the Business,"2 RPA's approach to framing philanthropic practice is detailed in Figure 1 and contains three core domains: Charter, Social Compact, and Operating Capabilities.

Philanthropy, Theory, Philosophy and History

Impact Investing: an introduction

April 8, 2016

This guide is part of the Philanthropy Roadmap series and is expressly written for donors who may wish to complement traditional grantmaking approaches as they invest their assets to promote change. Think of it as an introduction to the world of impact investing

Finance and Investment

Supporting Social Entrepreneurship

April 8, 2016

This guide is designed to help philanthropists evaluate whether they want to include support for social entrepreneurs in their giving or investment programs, and how to begin doing so. For philanthropists accustomed to more traditional grantees, yet interested in backing these groundbreaking leaders, funding social entrepreneurs can feel like entering uncharted territory. Donors might find themselves intrigued by the potential for change, and yet, at the same time, unsure of what to expect in a field where the unexpected is the norm.

Employment and Labour; Grantmaking and Programme Management; Socio-economic Development, Poverty

Engaging Philanthropy in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Lessons Learned and Ways Forward

September 24, 2015

Since its inception in July 2014, the Post-2015 Partnership Platform for Philanthropy -- soon to be called the SDG Philanthropy Platform or Platform for short -- has created vital linkages between an emergent philanthropy sector from around the world, the United Nations (UN) and some governments. It is leveraging the strengths of these stakeholders to contribute to the achievement and localization of the SDGs. Several key successes can be claimed:A clear track has been created for philanthropy to engage more deeply and in a more unified manner with the UN-led SDG process through concerted advocacy, communications and awareness-raising strategies.Progress has been made towards creating a global knowledge base around philanthropy's significant role in development initiatives around the world.Credible strides have been made in developing a data repository on philanthropic giving.

Collaborative Philanthropy and Partnerships; Foundation Sector, History and Analysis; International Affairs, Global Challenges

Setting A Time Horizon: How Long Should Your Foundation Or Giving Program Last?

February 24, 2012

Many donors consider the time horizon of their philanthropy only after they have been giving for some years. Perhaps they created a private foundation thinking that endowing in perpetuity was not only the norm, but the only way to set things up. Perhaps their lawyer prepared the papers and they signed them without even being aware they had a choice. Perhaps they are reconsidering their positions after learning about respected philanthropists, like Bill and Melinda Gates, who plan to spend all their resources within a limited time. Perhaps they are simply undecided. In any case, both new and experienced donors have become far more thoughtful about the time frame of their giving. And setting a use-by date for philanthropy has become a common consideration. Conscious philanthropy often pays dividends for donors. And effective giving usually relies not just on how we decide to give, but for how long. All of which begs another question: Where's the time horizon for your philanthropy?

Administration and Management

Philanthropy's New Passing Gear: Mission-Related Investing: A Policy and Implementation Guide for Foundation Trustees

January 1, 2008

The goal of this guide is to provide foundation trustees and, where or when appropriate, staff with a process to create both an overall policy for MRI as well as specific paths for implementation. Our mission-related investing roadmap outlines how to:Ground a strategy within the values and mission of your foundation;Understand the various catalysts for MRI within a foundation;Structure a policy discussion in the boardroom;Integrate MRI into existing program and investment processes;Link your investment asset allocation with your program goals;Determine the appropriate MRI investment tools and strategies for the foundation;Select appropriate financial, program and investment consultants;Organize the board, and staff and investment consultants to find, evaluate, approve and execute MRI investment vehicles;Monitor investment performance of an MRI portfolio; and ultimatelyIntegrate social returns into the ongoing investment and program decisions of the foundation.We have also included 12 case studies which reflect the diversity of experiences of foundations active in MRI.

Administration and Management; Finance and Investment; Governance, Boards and Strategy

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