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Preparing funders for what’s next

As the world changes at breakneck speed, philanthropy is changing too. Leading funders are testing new approaches but are often constrained by models that remain largely unchanged from a hundred years ago when pioneers like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller created the first foundations. We help funders chart new courses—for the field of philanthropy as a whole, and for implementing their own strategies.

What we offer

We work with foundations, networks, donors, and intermediaries to pioneer new models of philanthropy and stay on the leading edge of change. We help them adapt to the rapidly shifting context inside and outside the field, collaborate more effectively with others, tap productive market-based approaches, and modernize their operating models to fit emerging new realities. We also work with innovators outside traditional philanthropic circles to build innovative networks and coalitions, develop new intermediaries, create new tools, and advance creative uses of financing such as impact investing, enterprise philanthropy, and social impact bonds.

Particular areas of focus

Pioneering what’s next for the field:
  • Working with leading funders to figure out what’s next for philanthropy—charting new courses in social change including impact investing, social innovation, and impact measurement
  • Building new platforms for place-based change through work with community foundations, United Ways, and other community-based philanthropy organizations—we’ve literally written the book on what’s next for community philanthropy
  • Developing new networks through effective convenings and aligning action
Adapting to new realities:
  • Working with individual foundations to create effective and adaptive strategies that help them get on their front foot in a rapidly changing community and global context
  • Modernizing organizational designs to create more nimble institutions through new structures, processes, and internal systems
  • Designing new programs and initiatives from the ground up in a way that combines rigorous data-based decision-making with an inclusive process that builds internal alignment 

Issue to impact: Launching impact investing 

The issue

A group of institutions led by the Rockefeller Foundation set out to achieve the ambitious goal of inventing ways to increase the private capital being used to address the world’s societal challenges. Rockefeller had brought together some of the early pioneers in the space, who had named this emerging field “impact investing.” However, the infrastructure was lacking for the group to find its voice and take action together, and it was not clear how this small group could turn into a meaningful industry when it lacked the infrastructure that existed in mainstream finance.

Our impact

We supported the Rockefeller Foundation as it brought together a collection of unusual collaborators, including traditional investors, early impact investors, foundations, and entrepreneurs who shared an interest in scaling up this nascent set of practices. Together these collaborators formed a new community committed to sharing leading practices through sustained dialogue and reports such as Investing for social & environmental impact. Monitor Institute by Deloitte then helped the collaborators form a new nonprofit, the Global Impact Investing Network. The report and the nonprofit together are now widely credited with catalyzing significant new private capital to support the burgeoning field of impact investing, a $77+ billion marketplace that Deloitte is now actively engaged in scaling up.