Strategic Giving The Art and Science of Philanthropy
by Peter Frumkin
University of Chicago Press, 2006
Cloth: 978-0-226-26626-8 | Electronic: 978-0-226-26628-2
ABOUT THIS BOOKAUTHOR BIOGRAPHYREVIEWSTABLE OF CONTENTS

ABOUT THIS BOOK

The philanthropic landscape is changing dramatically as a new generation of wealthy donors seeks to leave its mark on the public sphere. Peter Frumkin reveals in Strategic Giving why these donors could benefit from having a comprehensive plan to guide their giving. And with this thoughtful and timely book, he provides the much-needed framework to understand and develop this kind of philanthropic strategy. 

After listening for years to scores of individual and institutional funders discuss the challenges of giving wisely, Frumkin argues here that contemporary philanthropy requires a thorough rethinking of its underlying logic. Philanthropy should be seen, he contends, as both a powerful way to meet public needs and a meaningful way to express private beliefs and commitments. He demonstrates that finding a way to simultaneously fulfill both of these functions is crucial to the survival of philanthropy and its potential to support pluralism in society. And he goes on to identify the five essential elements donors must consider when developing a philanthropic strategy—the vehicle through which giving will flow, the way impact will be achieved, the level of engagement and profile sought, the time frame for giving, and the underlying purpose of the gift. Frumkin’s point is that donors must understand strategic giving as the integration of these five critical dimensions to giving. 

Essential reading for donors, researchers, and anyone involved with the world of philanthropy, Strategic Giving provides a new basis for understanding philanthropic effectiveness and a promising new way for philanthropy to achieve the legitimacy that has at times eluded it.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Peter Frumkin is professor of social policy and faculty director of the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, both at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Strategic Giving and The Essence of Strategic Giving.

REVIEWS

"Thought-provoking . . . [Strategic Giving] makes an extremely strong case for so-called planned giving."
— Christopher Ondaatje, Times Higher Education Supplement

"A very useful and highly pragmatic book about American philanthropy that should be welcomed by all students of foundations and not-for-profit institutions."
— Helmut K. Anheier, American Journal of Sociology

"Frumkin's book is impressive in its scale and depth. It contains something for every type of reader--seasoned scholars of the field, old and new practitioners, and those who want to begin an education about issues of philanthropy. . . . A major contribution to the field. With it, Frumkin develops a theoretical framework from which we can all learn."
— Andrew Rich, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly

"This book represents a major contribution to the analysis of philanthropic giving in the United States. . . .  The most important contribution of Strategic Giuving is that it conceptualises philanthropy. By doing so it helps to show its limits as well as its strengths. Frumkin identifies the distinctive featue of phlanthropy in the the fact that this allows private resources to be used to enact a private vision of the public good."
— Francesca Borgonovi, Social Policy

"The fundamental questions that Peter Frumkion raises in this book are important, very timely, and crucial for any student of philanthropy. . . . When the next congressional committee to study the role of philanthropy in the American society convenes, Strategic Giving . . . will be its first and foremost source of guidance. This book is a must for all students of the nonprofit sector and philanthropy, as it covers new territories and opens a plethora of new intellectual challenges."
— Ram Cnaan, Journsal of Sociology and Social Welfare

“Peter Frumkin has written an important and provocative book that will be read and debated for years to come. Strategic Giving is both a comprehensive, critical analysis of modern philanthropy and a useful guide for wealthy donors who want to distribute their money to meet public needs as effectively as possible.”

— Pablo Eisenberg, Stanford Social Innovation Review

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface

- Peter Frumkin
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226266282.003.0001
[donors, philanthropy, philanthropic strategy, purpose of giving, innovation, redistribution, pluralism, personal expression]
This introductory chapter discusses the objective of this volume which is to examine how donors can think strategically about their giving and maximize the public and private benefits of philanthropy. This book is divided into two parts: the first presents an argument about the central problems in modern philanthropy and the second offers a way of reconstructing practice based on a new theory of philanthropic strategy. This chapter also argues that the purpose of giving cannot be limited to achieving a specific positive end result, be it change, innovation, redistribution, pluralism, or personal expression. (pages 1 - 28)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Peter Frumkin
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226266282.003.0002
[philanthropy, public sphere, permissive policy, tax code, public purposes, political speech, donors, subsidies]
This chapter considers philanthropy in the context of the public sphere and discusses the procedural guidelines, rules and regulations bearing on the administration of philanthropic assets in the U.S. It highlights the lack of government oversight on what kinds of causes are to be supported and explains that rationale for the permissive policy position of the government. This chapter suggests that tax code's inclination to support giving is that government sees private philanthropy as a necessary partner in the pursuit of public purposes. It also considers the parallels between giving the political speech and argues that while American philanthropy is shaped by government through regulation and the application of subsidies, donors are still in a position to set the terms of their relationship with government. (pages 29 - 54)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Peter Frumkin
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226266282.003.0003
[philanthropy, U.S., effectiveness, accountability, legitimacy, donors, philanthropic objectives, philanthropic power]
This chapter discusses the three main problems of philanthropy in the U.S. These are the intertwined issues of effectiveness, accountability, and legitimacy. It explains that donors do not agree on how to define philanthropic objectives, how to assess whether they have been realized, and how to use knowledge and experience to improve their work over time. This chapter also highlights the difficulty in determining philanthropy's fundamental power asymmetry between donor and recipient and in evaluating when and why the exercise of philanthropic power is just and rightful. (pages 55 - 89)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Peter Frumkin
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226266282.003.0004
[donors, grantmaking professionals, U.S., foundations, public trusts, administrative practices, philanthropic authority, public awareness]
This chapter examines the changes in the role of donors and grantmaking professionals in the philanthropy sector in the U.S. in the 1960s and the 1970s. These include the foundations' acceptance of a new understanding of their status as public trusts to be operated for public purposes and the major transformation in administrative practices. This chapter suggests that these changes can be attributed to the transfer of philanthropic authority from donors to trustees to professionals in the face of growing public awareness. (pages 90 - 124)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Peter Frumkin
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226266282.003.0005
[gift giving, philanthropy, U.S., institutional giving, philanthropic choices, donors, Henry and Edith Everett, Irene Diamond]
This chapter examines the strategy challenge in gift giving in the philanthropy sector in the U.S. It argues that philanthropy works best and strategy is most compelling when the donor brings its value set and assumptions to bear on the process of setting forth a philanthropic direction. This chapter considers the long-term implications of the move from individual to institutional giving and proposes a framework for both analyzing and informing philanthropic choices. It also talks about the cases of American donors, Henry and Edith Everett and Irene Diamond. (pages 125 - 145)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Peter Frumkin
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226266282.003.0006
[philanthropic value, public needs, public purposes, private values, American philanthropy, value creation, instrumentalism, expressivism]
This chapter analyzes the different dimensions of philanthropic value, highlights the changes in the importance given to public needs, the way these needs are defined, and how philanthropic resources are marshaled to address these needs. It explains the two fundamental dimensions to the concept of public needs and discusses the relative mix of public purposes and private values in American philanthropy. This chapter also considers four forms of value creation in philanthropy and offers suggestions on how to bring together the instrumentalism and expressivism dimensions of philanthropy. (pages 146 - 173)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Peter Frumkin
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226266282.003.0007
[philanthropic effectiveness, donors, theory of change, theory of leverage, theory of scale, logic model, strategic giving]
This chapter discusses the role of the theories of change, leverage, and scale in helping donors improve philanthropic effectiveness. It explains that there are strong connections linking these theories to one another and all three pieces actually fit together into what is known as a logic model. This chapter presents a diagram of the elements of a logic model and explains how to construct a logic model. It also clarifies that the construction of logic models is not a substitute for the inner exploration and search for fundamental commitments that lie at the core of strategic giving. (pages 174 - 216)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Peter Frumkin
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226266282.003.0008
[philanthropic giving, U.S., private foundation, community foundation, operating foundation, company-sponsored foundation, family foundation, grantmaking]
This chapter discusses the different institutions and vehicles for philanthropic giving in the U.S. The four main types are private foundation, community foundation, operating foundation, and company-sponsored foundation. The most variations on the four main institutional forms is the family foundation. This is similar to a private foundation except that it is governed by family members and its goals include both grantmaking and the enactment and inculcation of values across generations. This chapter suggests that the choice of the right institutional vehicle for giving is thus not something that donors can or should take for granted because it is an element of strategy building that demands constant and careful consideration. (pages 217 - 252)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Peter Frumkin
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226266282.003.0009
[giving styles, individual donors, U.S., philanthropy, religiously motivated helpers, politically connected operators, egomaniacs, incrementalists, motives of giving]
This chapter focuses on the giving styles of individual donors in the U.S. It explains that the history of American philanthropy is full of colorful characters including religiously motivated helpers, politically connected operators, scoundrels from the world of business and finance, unapologetic egomaniacs and self-promoters, safety-seeking incrementalists, restless social innovators and quiet but curious thinkers. This chapter explores the issue of motives and determinants of giving and discusses the multiple explanations of the motives for giving produced by social scientists over the years. (pages 253 - 292)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Peter Frumkin
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226266282.003.0010
[time frames, strategic giving, value proposition, theory of change, discounting, cy pres doctrine]
This chapter discusses the importance of timing or time frames in developing coherent strategic giving. It explains that the timing of giving is inextricably connected to the value proposition, the vehicle through which giving will take place, the style of the donor, and the theory of change that is pursued. This chapter also discusses the idea of discounting, donors' definition of the time dimension in giving, and the cy pres doctrine. (pages 293 - 330)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Peter Frumkin
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226266282.003.0011
[philanthropic giving, philanthropic prism, performance information, strategic giving, donors]
This chapter discusses the issues of measuring or evaluating, knowing, and acting in philanthropic giving. It explains that the essence of strategy consists in the achievement of fit, alignment and coherence among all five of the critical elements of the philanthropic prism, and recommends the use performance information to guide philanthropy because it can help bring some reason and method to a sector driven mainly by reaction and impulse. This chapter also argues that there is no single solution to the question of how much reason and how much reaction should figure into philanthropy and that the mix will depend both on the strategic direction established by the donor and on the problem or issue being tackled. (pages 331 - 362)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Peter Frumkin
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226266282.003.0012
[strategic giving, core value proposition, philanthropic prism, public interest, society, popular causes, public needs]
This chapter sums up the key findings of this study on strategic giving. It considers core value proposition as a critical element of strategic giving and clarifies the concepts of the key elements of the philanthropic prism. This chapter argues that though philanthropy may not always be directed toward popular causes or groups that embrace broadly held beliefs, it is the very act of trying to act on behalf of the public interest that has the most significance. It also contends that philanthropy has a vital role to play as an independent actor in society, acting not simply based on what government defines as public needs, but in its own autonomous way. (pages 363 - 376)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

Notes

Bibliography

Index