Beyond Giving

In her first book, Forces for Good, Leslie Crutchfield and her co-author (Heather McLeod Grant) showed nonprofits how to increase the impact of their work. Now she has set her sights on the other side of the equation—philanthropists.

In the latest installment of our monthly podcast series for the Philanthropy News Digest, co-host Bill Silberg and I talked to Crutchfield about her recent book Do More than Give: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World.

In the book, Crutchfield and her co-authors, John Kania and Mark Kramer, advocate for “catalytic philanthropy”—a somewhat radical approach that pushes foundations out of the comfortable world of making grants into the dynamic world of being agents of social change. The book offers six best practices from several foundations and philanthropists who have learned how to have a powerful impact.

Here are two quotes from the book to give you a flavor of the thinking:

“Catalytic donors see the world differently from the average donor. Rather than only fund nonprofits to address society’s problems, these donors catalyze change by influencing the behavior of others, working across sectors, and leveraging nonfinancial resources to create systems-level change. To achieve the highest possible level of impact—to create lasting results—catalytic donors shift their stance from that of passive grantmaker to that of proactive problem solver.”

“Solving problems and creating change is not about knowing the answer. The hope that writing a check will immediately somehow make things better is at the core of countless grant solicitations and motivations. We believe, however, that a more powerful and lasting process of social change comes from helping stakeholders discover and construct answers for themselves.”

Some pretty good wisdom there.

Crutchfield, a leading authority on high-impact philanthropy, is a senior advisor at FSG, a nonprofit consulting firm specializing in social sector strategy, evaluation and research.

You can listen to the interview at the Philanthropy News Digest Web site.

You can read more of Crutchfield’s thinking at the DoGoodBetter blog.

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