James Canales, president of the Barr Foundation, recently wrote a great article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy on the changing role of foundations, and the need to alter our “default” attitudes with regard to philanthropy. He writes:
Let’s nurture talented, visionary leaders and invest in building durable institutions. This is one of the most effective roles philanthropy can play to drive social change and is perhaps underused in our quest for the innovative approach or new solution.
The advent of “strategic philanthropy” during the past decade has certainly made important contributions to our field, encouraging foundations to clarify goals, to articulate how such goals will be achieved, and to become more rigorous about assessing progress.