Giving While Living
The common quest of all who seek to achieve lasting improvements in our communities and in our world—whether we are individual donors, foundations, nonprofits or government agencies—is to make the highest and best use of our resources. It requires us to ask questions like: What are our best opportunities to make a difference? What impact can we have and how do we know what impact our grants are having? What are grantee organizations accomplishing? What’s working… what’s not? Or, as Chuck Feeney, founder of The Atlantic Philanthropies, never hesitated to ask, starting with the foundation’s first grants in 1982: What will we have to show for it?
As we near the end of our organization’s life, and have fully committed our endowment and will close our doors for good by 2020, we’re not asking those questions to guide our work. Instead, we’re asking what we learned
after making $8 billion in grants in Australia, Bermuda, Cuba, Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United States and Viet Nam that might be useful to current and future donors and to
leaders and staff of other funders and nonprofit organizations.
That’s the purpose of this volume and others in our Insights series. From interviews with staff and grantees, a deep examination of records, and case studies of individual projects and initiatives, we’ve asked journalists and program evaluators to assemble information, reflections, and observations that we hope others can apply to their work.