Wise Philanthropy’s principals have had many years in the sector. When they entered the grantmaking sphere, the standard aphorism in our world was “you’ve met one foundation, you’ve met one foundation.” The longer we worked as or with grantmakers, the more we came to disagree with that. We now believe that everyone should be a knowledgeable and ethical funder, be informed about appropriate strategies, and sensitive to the implicit imbalance of power between those with the money and those who need it.
We began conducting seminars in grantmaking approaches at conferences a good number of years ago. But it was only after we began teaching at NYU and subsequently conceptualized the NYU Academy for Grantmaking and Funder Education that we began to formulate a variety of educational models which can help funders do it better.
We are proud that, as of June 2016, we will also be joining the faculty of Penn’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy’s Funder Education Program.
In addition to teaching at the NYU and Penn, we have each spoken and presented extensively at other universities, conferences, associations, wealth management firms, foundation meetings, and other settings. We do not believe that there is only one way to be a good funder, but we do believe that there are mistakes that no funder should make, ethics no funder should violate, and knowledge that every funder should have.