Philanthropy is changing and evolving more quickly than ever, with new societal challenges, new players, and new strategies. In this time of change, questions of how foundations can optimize their effectiveness for the public good are increasingly urgent—and the ability to self-reflect or even be introspective on an organizational level is critical.
Frameworks for Private Foundations: A New Model for Impact, a GrantCraft Leadership Series paper produced in partnership with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, explores the core frameworks that shape private foundations, and offers a roadmap for funders interested in reflecting on these frameworks to better align purpose, public benefit, and action.
The Theory of the Foundation offers a framework for introspection that enables foundations to address urgent questions, explore fundamental beliefs or implicit assumptions about their work, and more effectively align foundation purpose, public benefit, and action. And, while theory gives us a way to think, this paper offers pragmatic ways to use the framework to inform everyday practice.
- How the Theory of the Foundation framework’s three core elements — charter, social compact, and operating capabilities — inform a foundation’s structure and approach;
- Why self-reflection on an organizational level is key to strengthening a foundation’s effectiveness;
- How to apply the Theory of the Foundation Framework to your own foundation to examine the organizational structure and strategize about capacities and operations