Improving the Practice of Philanthropy
Understanding good practices and strategies for philanthropy, and making sure this information gets in the hands of practitioners are crucial steps to improving the practice of philanthropy.
Unfortunately, up-to-date research about philanthropy doesn't always exist or is hard to find. As a result, the Hewlett Foundation makes grants that support the development of this research as well as ways to share it with potential donors.
A grant to the Duke Foundation Research Program, for example, helped grow a research and teaching program to better understand how foundations make decisions, and to find more accurate ways of measuring their impact. The Bridgespan Group, another grantee, continues to draw lessons from its nonprofit consulting firm and share them in reports.
Still, there is no central place where people can find all of the research and studies on philanthropy. The Program addresses this problem by making grants to organizations that make this information more readily available. For example, The Hewlett Foundation's Education and Philanthropy programs shared a major investment in IssueLab, an online publishing forum for nonprofit research that provides a public place to gather and disseminate research. Another grantee, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, regularly publishes reports, articles, and case studies on philanthropy.
The Foundation also plans to learn more about the elements behind giving behavior by making grants to projects and organizations that examine the psychology and economics of giving.
The Effective Philanthropy Group is not accepting unsolicited Letters of Inquiry for its Improving Philanthropy grantmaking.