How to be a transparent funder

We’re pretty lucky, us funders.  We don’t usually pay tax. We can’t easily go broke.  We rarely receive public criticism.  And, unlike the US, where private foundations are required to give away at least 5% of their investment assets per year, funders in Aotearoa NZ are subject to few legislative requirements. In other words, we…

Continue reading →

If Philanthropy could be…

If philanthropy could be as innovative and impactful as possible, what might our world look like?* Three inspiring speakers at the recent Philanthropy New Zealand biennial conference, Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft, Judge Carolyn Henwood and Rangimarie Naida Glavish, presented a clear and inspiring picture of a land without child poverty, without child abuse, and where…

Continue reading →

Perspectives on what makes a good funder

Here are four different perspectives on the characteristics of a good funder: The criteria for “Philanthropy at its best” proposed by the US-based National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy are particularly useful in my opinion; see the one page version or the full paper.  They propose a manageable number of holistic but measurable criteria, eg “Invests…

Continue reading →

Philanthropy, philosophy and taxes

Where does philanthropy end and dirty self-promotion begin?  This was the question posed at the recent and fabulous Auckland Writer’s Festival to British philosopher Julian Baggini, economist and philanthropist Gareth Morgan and me by Radio NZ presenter Wallace Chapman. Here’s how we answered this question – plus a few other key points: Philanthropy ends when…

Continue reading →

The fishhooks of funding based on outcomes

Making social funding dependent on proving outcomes is a compelling concept – but one that is full of fishhooks. In Aotearoa New Zealand, the Social Bond pilot (also known as Social Impact Bonds) and the Ministry of Social Development’s Community Investment Strategy to Invest in Services for Outcomes are examples of this seemingly simple and…

Continue reading →