Helping grant-makers and philanthropists think through their giving—from aims, strategy and process to evaluation and new approaches—has been central to NPC since we were founded in 2002. The funding world is diverse, but we are increasingly hearing from funders who want to reflect seriously on where they fit in the sector and how they can ensure that their money has the biggest impact possible.

Here we round up some interesting and challenging reading which should provide plenty of food for thought:

  1. This piece from Inside Philanthropy looks at the trends, causes, and individual funders to keep an eye on in 2016. The article is US-focused, but there is a lot that those in the UK field will recognise.
  2. The Heron Foundation has called for a ‘new model of philanthropy to meet the economic challenges of the twenty-first century while sharing its progress in merging grant-making and endowment investments. If you’re interested in this 100% investing approach, our review of the impact created by the KL Felicitas Foundation is also worth a read.
  3. ‘I wake up every morning and pray they [the large foundations] will disappear’ says Mike Edwards, former head of civil society and governance at the Ford Foundation—another challenging piece on the power structures in philanthropy.
  4. Funder collaboration is something we have been exploring for a while, so we welcome these lessons from the Packard Foundation. The questions to ask yourself before joining a collaboration are a useful starting point.
  5. Following earlier work on the role of the funding community in addressing social change, Collaborate—in partnership with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Big Lottery Fund—have developed a Blueprint for Action to help funders adapt and respond to the changes facing the sector.
  6. The CAF World Giving Index provides an overview of our charitable habits globally. Interestingly, some of the most generous countries are among the most deprived, with only five G-20 counties (representing the world’s largest economies) appearing in the top 20.

Let us know if you come across any interesting reads—and if you’re on Twitter, you can find more with our hashtag #NPCreads.

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