Is Strategic Philanthropy Yesterday’s News?


As I read the lead article in the latest issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review, “Strategic Philanthropy for a Complex World,” by John Kania, Mark Kramer, and Patty Russell, I tried to imagine what it would feel like to do so from the vantage point of the director of a small nonprofit.

... That remains true even though, as Phil Buchanan of the Center for Effective Philanthropy points out in his reaction to the article, the argument may not be entirely original. He notes correctly that Patti Patrizi has been making their case for years. Phil himself, along with Cindy Gibson, Bill Dietel, Bill Somerville, Michael Edwards, Albert Ruesga, Rick Cohen, and others have also “been cautioning against the top-down, corporate, ‘unique value’ approach” once espoused by the authors. One also cannot overlook the contributions of Henry Mintzberg and Margaret Wheatley to an “emergent” approach to organizational management more broadly.

Read full article: NPO