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5 Lessons We Can Learn From Successful Early Stage Philanthropies

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Organizations such as Brothers For Life are designed to operate much like a successful start-up business. They are driven by a talented team of volunteers and board members, a clear mission statement and strategic plan, and passion and dedication to their cause. Here are five important lessons Brothers for Life can teach us about successful philanthropies

5 Lessons We Can Learn From Successful Early Stage Philanthropies

  1. 1. LESSONS WE CAN LEARN FROM SUCCESSFUL EARLY STAGE PHILANTHROPIES JEFF GREENSTEIN 5 BROTHERS FOR LIFElike
  2. 2. Only some embryonic philanthropic organizations have been successful at driving change and making a significant impact in the communities they serve while effectively scaling their reach to a broader group within their target market. What sets these organizations apart from the rest?
  3. 3. Organizations such as Brothers For Life are designed to operate much like a successful start-up business. Here are five important lessons Brothers for Life can teach us about successful venture/ early-stage philanthropies.
  4. 4. CLEAR MISSION AND FOCUS1Identifying a clear mission statement and encouraging all team members to stay focused on fulfilling that mission is the foundation of any successful enterprise. A mission statement adds clarity that defines future areas of expansion.
  5. 5. Brothers for Life launched many initiatives, but all the while they are anchored by a clear mission - helping recently disabled and injured Israeli combat soldiers recover from their injuries and live productive lives.
  6. 6. ENGAGEMENT ON BOTH SIDES2“There are three levels of giving that progressively get more difficult and demanding but at the same time more valuable and impactful: giving one’s money; giving one’s time; giving one’s home and heart.” - Rabbi Chaim Levine, Founder and Executive Director of Brothers For Life
  7. 7. Simply sending money to those in need isn’t enough to build a successful organization.
  8. 8. It’s important to interact with the communities involved, beneficiaries and donors, and really look into these people’s eyes and learn about their story.
  9. 9. OPERATING SMARTLY AND PRUDENTLY3 Many early stage philanthropies operate with limited resources in terms of human resources and cash. Given these constraints it is absolutely critical to determine where those resources are best allocated.
  10. 10. The individuals involved with managing the organization’s financials need to be acting in the best interest of the organization, setting realistic budgets, and working to maximize the budget at every opportunity.
  11. 11. Brothers For Life started on a shoe string where its leadership carefully evaluated how every dollar was spent. This attention to detail analyzed how each dollar spent impacts the organization’s objectives and long term aspirations.
  12. 12. DEFINING AND MEASURING IMPACT4It can be difficult to quantify the impact of an organization’s efforts, so it is up to the leadership team or committee members to define exactly how they will measure the effects of their efforts.
  13. 13. Success is often not a straight line so it is valuable to measure what works and what doesn't on a regular basis in order to make appropriate adjustments.
  14. 14. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s not always about numbers. While it is valuable to know how many families you fed after a food drive, for example, there are other ways to measure impact.
  15. 15. Genuinely understanding how the recipients are benefiting at a personal level means far more than any statistic.
  16. 16. BUILD PARTNERS NOT DONORS5 Donations and particularly recurring donations are the lifeblood of most early stage philanthropies. It is important to turn donors into partners by igniting their passion and commitment to the cause.
  17. 17. Partners internalize the organization and feel vested in its success. These feelings lead to both larger and more regular contributions to the organizations cause.
  18. 18. Donations, particularly recurring donations, are the lifeblood of most early stage philanthropies. At Brothers for Life, however, partners do a lot more than simply donating. They are dedicated to support and scale the organization through various efforts such as networking. Not all organizations can accomplish this structure but they all should endeavor to.
  19. 19. Successful philanthropic organizations are built with a strong structure and foundation, operating much like a successful start-up business.
  20. 20. WWW.GREENSTEINFAMILYFOUNDATION.ORG Read Full Article at

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