What is Engaged Philanthropy?
Engaged Philanthropy describes a philanthropic model that aims to go beyond simply writing cheques and wishing Grantees the “best of luck!” Instead, it focuses on a longer term view that promotes continued collaboration to maximize impact. Folks engaging in this type of philanthropic giving are generally dedicated to using their knowledge and resources to create an impact, and make a difference within their communities. This is what Karma & Cents, a philanthropic advisory firm supporting Silver Gummy Foundation’s philanthropic activities, calls the 4 T’s.
Silver Gummy’s Approach
We employ an Engaged Philanthropic approach. Our community believes that collaboration is crucial in order to create an efficient and effective project evaluation process, provide high quality service and support for our Grantees, and foster collegiality that is necessary for our recipients to be successful. Instead of competing over dollars and replicating others’ work, we encourage the sharing of information and ideas. We reinforce this by providing funding to support the collaborations that come out of the Silver Gummy community. We try to establish long–term relationships and design evaluation processes that enhance our Grantees’ service offerings. By working closely with our Grantees, we get to know them and are better able to assess the success of their programs – ultimately reinforcing a Trust-Based philanthropic relationship. This also provides a sense of security for our Grantees; if there are challenges with the program, we are there to support and pivot.
It’s often difficult for less established groups to obtain funding. We like to ‘fill that gap’ by offering opportunities to innovative and new organizations who are looking for help. We are also less risk averse than some other funders and strive to learn through communication and collaboration – “Failed” programs always teach you something.
Our Grantees have expressed that the relationship they have with the Trustees is different from other private donors. We strongly believe that learning facilitates change. The more we hear from our Grantees and foster an environment of joint learning, information sharing and coming to the table from a place of curiosity, the stronger our community becomes. This allows us to create an even greater impact with our philanthropic investments. Through this learning we are also able to identify unique funding and partnership opportunities that may not have come to light without putting our relationships with Grantees at the centre of our funding model. A constant effort needs to be made to learn about the needs in the space, so that we can respond accordingly.
“Silver Gummy has helped Carya not only through very generous donations to our youth programming, but also by supporting and advocating for our in-school programs. Silver Gummy provides multiple opportunities for connection, learning, growth and collaboration between others in the field who are also working towards ending gender-based violence and shifting toxic views around masculinity and femininity.”
– Carya Society of Calgary