can’t we all just get along?

June 30, 2015

Earlier this year Third
Plateau helped organize a strategy briefing for one of our nonprofit clients
that brought together many of its major individual and institutional

When we
asked attendees how often they have a chance to meet other supporters of
their grantees, one program officer from a large U.S. foundation noted that while she often gets together with other foundation
representatives, this was the first time she had the opportunity to interact
with major individual supporters.

I was surprised to learn how
infrequently individual and institutional donors talk, and how few
relationships exist across these aisles. But as an excellent and timely new
on the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog argues:

For all the growth in cross-sector collaboration over the past decade,
one fact remains distressingly true: Individual philanthropists and
institutional foundations don’t learn from each other nearly as much as they

The authors outline a number of important
reasons why individual and institutional donors should become “friends” and then share
some practical wisdom about how to work together.

I hope more donors will listen. Despite their different vantage points, individuals and institutions – working together
– will be needed in order for philanthropy to help solve our biggest societal challenges.

this post brought to you by team member mike berkowitz