Your Philanthropy Roadmap

Giving away money is simple. Giving away money effectively is an entirely different matter.

Our goal at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors is to help donors – individuals, families, trusts and foundations – create thoughtful, effective giving programs. Those programs can focus on local community issues, global concerns, or anything in between.


The Philanthropy Roadmap Series

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors recently launched the Philanthropy Roadmap, a multifaceted, international campaign to engage and educate donors in planning, implementing and sustaining effective philanthropy programs – with a long-term goal of creating a new culture of great giving.

Funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Philanthropy Roadmap program encompasses a suite of tools to guide donors through the processes and practices of thoughtful, effective giving. Such tools include a series of guides on issues that donors might face in their philanthropy, profiles of real-life individuals/families whose giving serves as examples and inspiration (which can be viewed on our Great Givers page), and other resources to help donors.

If you are interested in receiving hard copies of any of these guides, please email

Your Philanthropy Roadmap

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors' Your Philanthropy Roadmap is the first in a series of guides to engage and educate donors - notably new and emerging donors - in planning, implementing  and sustaining effective philanthropy programs. Part of our Philanthropy Roadmap resources to support effective giving by donors worldwide, this guide sets up the framework for the topics in the series, as well as introduces the approach RPA has been using successfully for some time to guide donors along their philanthropic journey. For the complete Roadmap series, visit

Latest Guides in the Series


Supporting Social Entrepreneurship

Supporting Social Entrepreneurship is designed to help philanthropists evaluate whether they want to include support for social entrepreneurs in their giving or investment programs, and how to begin doing so.
[Read More]


Impact Investing

Introducing readers to the world of impact investing, this guide is expressly written for donors who may wish to complement traditional grantmaking approaches as they invest their assets to promote change. [Read More]

Major Gifts and Naming Opportunities

This guide aims to help both emerging and established philanthropists think about  the different aspects of making a naming gift or any major gift with defining impact, including key questions to consider so impact best matches inspiration, maximizing potential and minimizing risk. [Read More]

The Rockefellers: A Legacy of Giving

This guide reflects on the ideas, values, rituals and legacy of the Rockefeller family's seven generations of giving. [Read More]

Diversity, Inclusion and Effective Philanthropy

This guide provides a fresh perspective on how social diversity and inclusiveness can be used as practical considerations to achieve more impactful results in philanthropic giving. [Read More]

Women and Giving

Women and Giving addresses specific considerations for women donors as they approach their philanthropy. [Read More]

Investing in Leadership

Investing in Leadership focuses on the importance of looking at an organization's leadership as part of the grantmaking process, and offers questions to pose to organizations before giving. [Read More]

Making Change Happen

Making Change Happen offers guidance on creating an outcome-based giving strategy and monitoring its progress along the way. [Read More]

Giving in Challenging Times

Times of economic hardship can provide unique challenges and opportunities for philanthropy. This guide looks at important considerations donors should face when giving during challenging times. [Read More]

Setting a Time Horizon

Setting a Time Horizon discusses some of the main ways to evaluate and decide on the lifespan of a giving program, from spending down a foundation to endowing in perpetuity.  [Read More]

Finding Your Focus in Philanthropy

Finding Your Focus in Philanthropy offers guidance in framing and narrowing issue areas, allowing givers to explore and express motivations and issue areas.  [Read More]

Talking to Your Family About Philanthropy

Talking to Your Family About Philanthropy reviews why you might consider talking with family members about philanthropy and when it might be appropriate. It also looks at how to prepare for such a dialogue and what topics might be covered. [Read More]

Giving as a Couple

This guide sets out key considerations for donors who give as a couple, and poses questions to help donors examine how they might approach this particular form of partnership. [Read More]

Assessing Impact

Assessing Impact offers an overview of the very complicated topic of evaluation in philanthropy. It looks at why assessment is important and offers guidance on the development of an appropriate and effective assessment strategy. [Read More]

The Giving Commitment: Knowing Your Motivation

Knowing Your Motivation explores the ways through which donors can identify what motivates their philanthropy, and offers suggestions on creating or refining a meaningful giving strategy. [Read More]


Upcoming Titles

Check back frequently for new Philanthropy Roadmap tools. Here's what's coming up:
Giving Strategically After Disaster
Launching a Major Project
Next Gen Philanthropy
Funding Locally
Family Business Philanthropy


Additional Resources

Philanthropy is in a period of remarkable ferment, and there are many organizations dedicated to studying effective giving. If you're interested in learning more, here are a few good places to start:

Bolder Giving
The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University's Million Dollar List





Let us know what you think! Please take a moment to fill out a brief survey on the Philanthropy Roadmap series. Your feedback will help us create new tools for thoughtful, effective giving.