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Giving 2.0 and the Second Great Wave of Philanthropy

November 10, 2011

Katherina Rosqueta

Over the last 8 weeks we’ve been writing a series of “Back to School” book reports by members of our team. We selected books based on their potential to help us in our own work to identify high-impact philanthropic opportunities and help donors improve their philanthropic impact. This marks the end of this fall series and we hope it has helped to make some of our own learning transparent so that others may benefit.

Our closing “Back to School” book report is by Katherina Rosqueta, executive director of the Center.

In her new book, Giving 2.0 Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen defines a philanthropist as:

“anyone who gives anything – time, money, experience, skills, and networks – in any amount to create a better world.”

It is an appealingly broad definition. For our team, it also hits home.

When I first interviewed our analyst and project manager, Jennifer Landres, about why she was interested in our work, she referred to Laura’s powerful influence as a mentor while Jen was at Stanford. By Laura’s own definition, our Center has been the unexpected and grateful beneficiary of Laura’s philanthropy.

For Jen, Laura’s generosity as a mentor and teacher started her on a personal and professional journey that led her to our center’s work. For many of us, Sean Stannard-Stockton’s personal journey has been a source of news, ideas, and welcome colleagiality as we work towards creating what he has described as the Second Great Wave of Philanthropy. Among many of our team members and colleagues, there was a sigh of disappointment when we read about Sean’s sabbatical from his influential Tactical Philanthropy Blog. That sigh was colored by gratitude for the very public role he has played in spurring smart discussion about the role philanthropy can and should play.

As we wrap up our fall book report series, Laura’s deeply personal book and Sean’s recent sabbatical announcement were good reminders that:

while many of the books we have reviewed have discussed the ‘hard stuff’—research, assessment, strategy—of philanthropy, the actual practice of philanthropy is shaped by the people who share their time, money, experience, skills and networks with others.

So to Laura, Sean, and all the authors of the books we’ve reviewed, thank you for allowing us to learn from and with you.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2011 4:30 pm

    All too often there is a generalization that philanthropy is donating money. I can see where this thought process comes from and the quotation from Laura’s book above, “anyone who gives anything – time, money, experience, skills, and networks – in any amount to create a better world”, is a simple and effective way of explaining why philanthropy is much more than just giving money. Financial donation is important, but it is not the only way to give as you have mentioned in your post. In fact, the research you and your team are doing is in and of itself an important form of philanthropy and it should be commended.

    As a small business owner I am always looking at ways to incorporate philanthropy into my work. Whether it is taking time to help out a young business owner without means, donating some of my time to a local foundation, or simply writing a small check to a foundation, there are numerous ways to make a difference.

    It is important as philanthropists, givers, and donators that you take some time and see what your generosity is doing. Visit the foundations you work with if you can, write to them, or just go online and look for the progress they are making, because doing so is often an overlooked act.

    If you are interested in a simple way to get started there are some great social lending avenues such as where you can help small business people across the globe obtain funding that would not be possible without your help. It was one of my first experiences of online philanthropy and 3 years later I am still participating.

    Thank you for the giving 2.0 link. I’ll be taking some time reading Laura’s work and learning how to give in more ways.


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