Leadership for collaborative and connected philanthropy

Leadership for collaborative and connected philanthropy

Posted on April 16, 2014 by Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation

As peers and leaders of foundations, we're in unique positions to contribute to philanthropy's evolution and its perception in society. The culture of our organizations, our ability to adapt to change, our willingness to ask authentic questions and learn in real time -- it's all part of creating more collaborative and connected philanthropy.  The Patterson Foundation's model of  purposeful partnerships in philanthropy focuses on deepening collaboration by introducing independent initiative consultants to help our partners fill gaps of specific knowledge, skills and expertise. This model delivers strategic and tactical expertise beyond other funding models in philanthropy. Our partnering approach focuses on building long-term partner relationships to ensure the thrivability of the outcome long past the life of the collaboration. We leverage the knowledge of organizations who are already making a difference, encouraging them toextend change beyond a single program or community and connecting them with resources through networks and technology to deepen impact and accelerate capacity. The partner characteristics we seek are:

  • Leadership — outcome-focused partners who have a passion for driving positive change and truly understand the value of collaboration.
  • Willingness — partners who are enthusiastic about engaging dynamically to transcend the grant recipient role and collaborate for greater impact.
  • Readiness — fully engaged partners who are excited about working together and ready to embrace new solutions.
  • Capacity — partners who are committed to implementing strategic recommendations and collaborating with The Patterson Foundation to accelerate change.
  • Culture — future-focused partners with a desire to drive positive change and a shared belief that applying the most effective practices creates world-class impact.

Our recently refreshed website reflects this evolution. This blog will become a thought area and idea exchange featuring our peers and partners in philanthropy. Here are just a few of the areas we're interested in exploring with you: - Staff, board, volunteer, donor and beneficiary connection and communication

- Encouraging multisector dialogue

- Operating models that advance impact

- Following the impact rather than the money

- Embedding behaviors for lasting change Each one of us has a "cookie jar" of knowledge, experience and opinions. We look forward to creating an appetite and a space to share this kind of information more widely and with others who will benefit from it.


  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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