Will Arts Organizations be Left Behind?

As the tech boom grows in cities like Seattle and Silicon Valley, data-driven philanthropy continues to gain momentum. Wealthy young individuals from the “big 3” companies in Seattle (Amazon, Microsoft, and Google) are looking spend their money on projects that have have proven effective in solving major social problems. As a result of this trend, arts and culture … Continued

GiveWell and the Concept of Effective Altruism

We continue to focus on the growth of data-driven philanthropy in our latest Wine Grants podcast with GiveWell and Open Philanthropy Project (Open Phil) Program Director Alexander Berger. Much like Ryan Derfler, Berger is part of a burgeoning movement among philanthropists to ensure that money is well-spent on the most effective programs. Both GiveWell and Open … Continued

Disconnect in Silicon Valley

If you’ve listened to our Wine Grants podcast with Ryan Derfler, we recommend that you read his recent article published on LinkedIn, “Silicon Valley Not Taking Advice.” Derfler describes a fundamental disconnect between Silicon Valley philanthropists and the foundations and advisories they seek out for funding recommendations. Many of these philanthropists are finding this advice … Continued

The Emerging Critical Backlash Against Philanthropists

Gawker media – a publication known for habitually stepping over the line in its vitriol toward public figures – has been waging war on wealthy philanthropists over the past few months. First, they declared David Geffen “America’s Worst Philanthropist” in reaction to his donation of $100 million to UCLA to create a private school for … Continued

Major Foundations Aim to Address Big Ideas

We encourage everyone to check out this article from the New York Times. Major funders – such as the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations – are making new commitments to tackle the crucial social issues of our time, such as income inequality, criminal justice, and climate change. This represents a shift away from the traditional funding approach, … Continued

Amy Schumer’s Cat Park Illustrates Funding Dilemma

The following video is hilarious, and plays right into our cat-loving sensibilities. It also raises an important question, however, about how foundations choose to fund projects. Do we frequently prioritize fun ideas or vanity projects over something that provides genuine solutions to social problems? Food for thought while you are day-dreaming about the existence of an … Continued