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Santa: Modern Grantmaker or Arrogant Funder?

Let's take a quick, evidence-based look at this significant legacy giver:

✔️ Minimal post-award paperwork
✔️ Gifts appear to be unrestricted
✔️ Rapid turnaround

❌ Requires paper applications to be sent to North Pole: responses notoriously unreliable
❌ Applicants are required to self-declare that they’ve been nice: an obvious conflict of interest
❌ Seemingly equitable gifts actually turn out to be heavily skewed towards the children of well-off families


Seasonal Reading

Here's some good grantmaking essays that have caught our attention of late. Try as an alternative to watching James Bond on Christmas afternoon.

Reporting WoesWhy Do We Bother? The Tragedy of Foundation Reporting Reqiurements has such a fantastic title that it subverts our attempts to say something fun about it. Kevin Bolduc from the Centre for Effective Philanthropy is on fiery form here, and shares data that only CEP has. Strong stuff.

Gates notes. Those fun loving kids over at The Economist have prodded gently at the extremely data and evidence driven model at the world's most famous foundation.  The article is paywalled, but registering will get you the piece for free. 

Meta-what? If you feel that you have totally mastered the current state of philanthropy, how about going on a journey to the far edges? Take a look at this monster of-a-blogpost by philanthropy podcasting legend Rhodri Davies. In it he tries to work out what the future implications might be for giving if entirely new kinds of property grow up via the Metaverse, Mark Zuckerberg's sci-fi inspired vision of the future of the internet. One to scratch your head to.

What's the pefect gift for the grantmaker in your life?

A copy of Modern Grantmaking, of course! Well, that and about a month of sleep.


Join our next readers' roundtable 

Since September, we’ve been running free Modern Grantmaking online roundtable discussions about every two weeks. During these free-form sessions, participants have shared reflections and ideas relating to a different chapter from our book, and they've had some fun too!

The next roundtable and first one of 2022 will be on Chapter 7, ‘What should I do about research?’. It will be held on 17th January at 4PM UK time (08.00AM PDT, 11AM EDT, 5PM CET) - we moved this date since last time, sorry! Duration will be one hour.
Sign up here
And remember it won’t make complete sense if you haven’t read the relevant bit of the book, so get your copy here.

Make a New Year's resolution: hire Gemma & Tom 😉

New Year, new approach to grantmaking? We can help! We offer a range of workshops, event facilitation and consultancy services based on the practices in our book. Take a look here.

Happy Holidays, one and all!


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