Anyone with even the tiniest philanthropic bone in his or her body will love Bridgespan’s “Conversations with Remarkable Givers,” a groundbreaking series of videos featuring interviews with philanthropists on what inspired them to give, their approach to making a difference, and the experiences and skills that have led them to become leading voices in the philanthropic sector.
The “Conversations with Remarkable Givers” series features more than 1,000 videos with over 60 philanthropists. Bridgespan hopes the interviews will inspire and inform individuals in the philanthropic sector, with key takeaways that include:
- The increasing popularity of giving sooner, longer, and in a more focused way, and interest in philanthropy via for-profit as well as nonprofit initiatives;
- “Giving while living”—placing bigger bets to solve today’s problems, and not just passing money down in perpetuity;
- Problem-solving philanthropy versus just check writing, and the value of leveraging time and influence as well as money;
- Applying skills developed during successful business careers to improve philanthropic outcomes, such as investing in leadership and knowing when to take big risks; and,
- Increasing access to smaller-scale giving by individuals facilitated by technology.
Here are some quotes from just a few of our favorite clips:
Herb Sandler, on why the Sandler family made such a significant contribution to its foundation immediately after selling their company: “Wherever “the other place” happens to be, I don’t think they use our currency. So there’s no benefit in [living big]; you can only wear one pair of pants, one shirt, and one sweater at a time.”
Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, on the word “failure”: “Failure is hard to take; it’s hard to admit to. So, we don’t use the word failure at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; we talk about ideas that seemed like good ideas at the time. (…) We are focused on addressing… what we think went wrong and how we might do it differently again, then using that as part of the building of a strategy.”
Michael J. Fox, on his experience with the philanthropic community for Parkinson’s disease: “My instinct always would have been not to ask for anything, but I realize that I’m not asking for anything, I’m saying, ‘do you want to invest in this project and join us in the victory of finding an answer?’. It’s so amazing how receptive people are to that message and that outreach.”
What are your favorites?