How to build the perfect philanthropy

Five simple thoughts – with examples – in clear, concise language in this piece…a great primer for anyone working in the nonprofit world.


What’s in a personal donation? Everything, if you’re one of the millions of people who depend on philanthropies to assist with anything from college to housing to healthcare. In fact, of the $300 billion donated to U.S. charities every year, more than 80% comes from individual contributions, says Valerie Lies, president and CEO of Donors Forum, which helps strengthen Illinois nonprofits.

But how can donors and philanthropies ensure everyone is getting the most do-gooder bang for their buck? That’s the question some of the smartest minds in philanthropy—including CrowdRise‘s Edward Norton, United Airlines Foundation’s Sonya Jackson, and LIFT’s Kristen Lodal—tackled at Chicago Ideas Week on Tuesday afternoon, as part of the “Giving: One Matters” talk. Here’s some of the best of what they shared.

1. Follow a clear mission.
“One of the worst things I hear from organizations is, what do you want us to be?” says…

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