Writing about Philanthropy
Communications & Corporate Services Program Manager
Since starting my new job at Philanthropy Northwest, one of the ways I am learning about the field is through reading books and articles, following several bloggers, subscribing to feeds, and bookmarking the websites of important institutions that lead the field with data, analysis and insights. I have quickly learned, however, that the subject of philanthropy isn’t a beat that most reporters cover. So when I saw the lengthy June 8 article from Fortune at CNNMoney, What does it take for philanthropy to deliver results?, I was eager to read it. Consultants Leslie Crutchfield, John Kania and Mark Kramer are listed as guest contributors and have recently co-authored a book.
The article wasn’t as long or comprehensive as I hoped and it is written for a very general audience, with a sub-headline that reads: “Donors large and small often think that they can simply throw money at a problem and hope for the best. Successful giving requires more involvement than that.” Still, they provided some very good stories from the Jacobs Family Foundation and from the Mars, Inc., maker of chocolates and many other products. (And I didn’t know that Mars began in Tacoma, WA until today!) And they avoided lingo, which is also refreshing.
Here’s my favorite line in the piece: “The most effective philanthropists use several tools to tackle problems, applying non-financial assets such as their business know-how, networks, and influence to advance causes. They also don’t exclusively focus on supporting nonprofits. Top donors support for-profit businesses and advocate for government policy reform to further amplify results.”
Did you read it? If you could have contributed to this article, what would you have included?