What is an organization serving philanthropy? – Inside philanthropy


What is the difference between a grant and a gift and how do I get one? How do foundations work? What is all this about 501 (c) (3) s vs. (c) (4) s? These are just a few of the questions that might come to mind if you are new to the world of philanthropy and fundraising.

It doesn’t have to be that confusing.

Inside Philanthropy has produced a series of brief “how-tos” to introduce you to the basics of philanthropy, define key terms and elucidate important debates to help you navigate your way through all the lingo to become a more informed fundraiser. and more efficient.

Today, we explore some key players in the philanthroposphere.

What is an organization serving philanthropy?

An organization that aims to increase the effectiveness, impact or scale of philanthropy by bringing funders together and / or educating and informing funders.

  • Part of the infrastructure of philanthropy.

  • PSOs include philanthropic intermediaries, donor affinity groups, regional donor associations and other types of organizations.

Like any other field, philanthropy learns and grows, and is shaped and supported by networking, professional development, education and infrastructure. Organizations serving philanthropy (PSOs) are the non-granting entities that bring funders together to network, learn best or new practices, and gain information that can inform and improve their giving. Organizations serving philanthropy are part of the infrastructure for philanthropy.

Can you give me some examples?

Organizations serving philanthropy aim to increase the effectiveness, impact or scale of philanthropy by facilitating networking among funders, providing funders with useful information, educating funders (thus than nonprofits and the public) on specific issues or philanthropic practices, and more. Donor affinity groups, regional grantmaker associations, some philanthropic intermediaries, and clearinghouses are all types of PSOs.

PSOs bring together and educate donors who share a common interest. Some are problem-oriented, like the Science Philanthropy Alliance or the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity, and provide in-depth knowledge of the problem that can advance or change conversations and philanthropic priorities.

Other PSOs come together around a specific community, for example, Funders for LGBTQ Issues, Native Americans in Philanthropy and the Women Donors Network.

PSOs can also be geographically based, such as in regional donor associations, which can help mobilize resources to meet an urgent need such as disaster relief in a specific geographic area. Regional associations can also facilitate holistic thinking about funding across issues in a particular city or state.

There are also PSOs that focus on specific philanthropic approaches or practices. For example, several PSOs offer information and resources related to impact investing. A PSO like Exponent Philanthropy provides support and resources to foundations with little or no staff.

Another type of PSO are clearinghouses, such as Candid, which provide data on philanthropy as a whole, detailed information on funders and nonprofits across sectors. , and resources such as a searchable foundation and grants database.

And then there are umbrella organizations that bring together PSOs themselves across issues and communities, like the National Forum United Philanthropy.

Organizations serving philanthropy conduct and publish research, train philanthropy professionals, organize conferences, and in many other ways, provide infrastructural support to the field of philanthropy.

You can also consult:

What is a donor affinity group?

What are regional grantmaker associations?

What is a philanthropic intermediary?


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