Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tactical Philanthropy Launches Tactical Philanthropy Advisors!

I am swarmed with work right now so I've been slacking on my blogging, but I wanted to share an awesome new initiative happening over at Tactical Philanthropy. Tactical Philanthropy is one of my all time favorite blogs and I am excited to share Sean and his team are launching Tactical Philanthropy Advisors. Here's the press release:

Tactical Philanthropy Advisors, Serving High Net Worth Donors, Launches Today

Burlingame, CA – August 31, 2009 – Tactical Philanthropy Advisors, an advisory firm working with wealthy individuals and families, launched today. It is headed by Sean Stannard-Stockton, co-founder of a wealth advisory firm focused on philanthropists, a columnist for the Chronicle of Philanthropy and author of the industry leading blog Tactical Philanthropy.

Tactical Philanthropy Advisors has established working arrangements with Schwab Charitable, Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund®, Calvert Giving Fund and Foundation Source to provide administrative, back office services to Tactical Philanthropy Advisors’ clients. Tactical Philanthropy Advisors will provide comprehensive, ongoing advisory services for clients with $1 million to $50 million or more in philanthropic assets.

“Having worked in the wealth management industry for the past decade, I know firsthand that the most effective way for wealthy donors to obtain advice is as part of an ongoing relationship with an experienced advisor,” said Mr. Stannard-Stockton, founder and CEO of Tactical Philanthropy Advisors. “The old model of philanthropy consultants who offer outsourced staffing services or bill by the project is not well-suited to the needs of most major donors. Individual donors give $250 billion a year to charity, making up 82% of all charitable giving. A growing number of these donors want to be sure that their philanthropy is actually making a difference.”

Tactical Philanthropy Advisors launches three years after Mr. Stannard-Stockton founded the Tactical Philanthropy blog, one of the industry’s most popular destinations.

“Tactical Philanthropy has emerged as an important platform for some of philanthropy’s most critical debates,” said Jacob Harold, a philanthropy program officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. “Sean Stannard-Stockton absorbs the range of viewpoints across the field and then offers his own. But, importantly, he also has welcomed dissent and conflict, allowing Tactical Philanthropy to serve as a place for productive disagreement across philanthropy—all with the goal of increasing our shared impact on critical social and environmental issues.”

Building on the success of the Tactical Philanthropy blog, Tactical Philanthropy Advisors hopes to bring the vibrant, innovative approach to philanthropy that Mr. Stannard-Stockton discusses on his blog to wealthy individuals and families who want to ensure that their philanthropy is effective.

Greg Miller, former director of philanthropic affairs at, said: “Working at I had an opportunity to be exposed to some of the most innovative ideas in philanthropy. Sean always stays abreast of cutting edge issues and fosters debate and learning with his Tactical Philanthropy blog. For donors plugging into the latest philanthropic trends and tools, Sean’s firm Tactical Philanthropy Advisors is a great match.”

Ken Berger, CEO of leading nonprofit evaluator Charity Navigator, said: “Sean Stannard-Stockton has emerged as a leader in helping people understand what makes for good philanthropy. He is one of the most passionate, motivational and strategic thinkers in the field. By working with Tactical Philanthropy Advisors, I think most donors can become good social investors by improving the way they approach giving.”

One of the core services of Tactical Philanthropy Advisors is to act as a trusted intermediary between major donors and the professional field of philanthropy. The firm is in the process of launching the Tactical Philanthropy Knowledge Network, a network of professional grantmakers who are committed to the idea that knowledge sharing leads to greater social impact. Philanthropy thought leader Jed Emerson has agreed to act as Chair of the Network. In addition, the design firm IDEO will be involved in designing the Network and facilitating Network gatherings.

In addition to working with individual and family philanthropists, Tactical Philanthropy Advisors will also help leading wealth managers, tax accountants, family offices and estate planners ensure that their clients’ philanthropic plans are as robust as their financial plans. Unlike many other firms, Tactical Philanthropy Advisors will offer comprehensive services for both private foundations and donor advised funds, making them an objective source for donors and client advisors seeking advice on structuring their charitable giving.

Tactical Philanthropy Advisors is committed to creating social impact through advancing the field of philanthropy. In addition to working directly with clients to achieve this goal, the company has committed to support the work of the Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, a public charity that helps donors of all levels of wealth to engage in creative philanthropy. Philanthropic Ventures Foundation is led by maverick grantmaker Bill Somerville, author of “Grassroots Philanthropy.” The firm has also engaged the services of Philanthropic Ventures Foundation and Bill Somerville to design grassroots philanthropy solutions for Tactical Philanthropy clients.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Philanthropic Ventures Foundation to collaborate with Tactical Philanthropy Advisors and bring together a diversity of talents and knowledge for serving donors,” said Mr. Somerville. “This is a unique offering to donors, and one which will add to the significance of personal giving. Tactical Philanthropy Advisors will give Philanthropic Ventures Foundation a national audience for its brand of creative philanthropy while at the same time committing itself to the growth of the Foundation and allowing it to broaden the services it offers.”

The financial crisis has forced wealthy families to ensure that their financial plans are in order. Major donors are undergoing the same sort of reassessment of their giving plans. “Major donors already seek out professional advisors to help them with their financial accounts, their tax planning, their business planning and legal issues,” said Mr. Stannard-Stockton. “We offer a similar advisory role for donors who do not want to ‘outsource’ their giving, but want to maximize the impact of their giving by working with an expert advisor who acts as a guide to the field of philanthropy.”

About Sean Stannard-Stockton
Sean Stannard-Stockton is CEO of Tactical Philanthropy Advisors, a philanthropy advisory firm that serves individual and family philanthropists. Sean is the author of the Tactical Philanthropy blog, writes a monthly column for the Chronicle of Philanthropy and is a former columnist for the Financial Times. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Council on Philanthropy & Social Investing and has been quoted or referenced in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Financial Times and many other media outlets. Prior to founding Tactical Philanthropy Advisors, Mr. Stannard-Stockton co-founded Ensemble Capital Management, a wealth management company focused specifically on serving the needs of philanthropic individuals and families.

Journalists and bloggers interested in more information should contact Tactical Philanthropy Advisors at 888-521-2555 or 650-581-2180, by email at or visit the Tactical Philanthropy Advisors website:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

American Express NGen Fellows Application Deadline Nears

From the Independent Sector:

The new American Express NGen Fellows Program will offer 12 under-40 professionals from Independent Sector member organizations a rare opportunity to magnify their impact and accelerate their careers. Based on the recognition that the leaders we need tomorrow are poised to contribute today, this program will build the capacity of emerging leaders through tailored online and in-person programming and special networking opportunities, and includes complementary registration and lodging for the 2009 Annual Conference.

American Express NGen Fellows will be a diverse and talented group selected from under-40 staff at IS member organizations. Visit the IS website to learn more about the benefits of participation in the fellows program, the selection process, and how to apply. Applications are due August 14.

This program enhances NGen: Moving Nonprofit Leaders from Next to Now, which is designed to expand and improve the nonprofit talent pool by developing the leadership skills and networks of emerging leaders. Free to all under-40 conference attendees, NGen offers targeted workshop sessions addressing topics important to emerging leaders and opportunities for rising young professionals to connect with leaders of all ages. Register for the IS Annual Conference today!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Being a Nonprofit Researcher in the 21st Century

I was working on one of my many research reports last week and my colleague said, "Isn't it great we have Microsoft Word and we can easily move around sections of your paper? I used a typewriter when I was doing my dissertation and it was a pain."

Wow, I thought to myself, I really take for granted all this modern technology. I utilize a variety of technology tools on a daily basis while I'm conducting research.

1. I use RSS feeds to track academic articles from my nonprofit focused journals.

2. I search for articles and books on topics using google scholar and USD's library databases.

3. I keep a detailed list of all the articles and books I'm reading in Zotero, which allows me to sort articles by topic and creates reference lists using any style (e.g. APA, Chicago).

4. I create and maintain survey's using survey monkey.

5. I use SPSS to analyze survey data.

6. (This is a given) I use Word to create and edit my documents. Thank goodness for track changes!

What tools do you use while conducting and writing research reports?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Nonprofit Blog Carnival: Nonprofit Leadership

This months nonprofit blog carnival focuses on nonprofit leadership. With nonprofit leaders struggling to make the right decisions for their organizations, (e.g. budget cuts, mergers, close dissalution, or alternative funding sources) this month's carnival submissions provide key insights and solutions for leading nonprofits during these tough times and ways to look to the future for solutions.
  • Change matters understands these struggles all too well. The post Moving from Start up to What.explains what leadership decisions organizational founders must make in order to strategically move the organization forward.
  • Jeff Brooks (at Donor Power blog) in his Hope for Struggling Nonprofits post gives us all hope by sharing about a nonprofit that was able to turn their organization around.
  • This relates to Melanie Schmidt's (of Moving Missions Forward) post that provides suggestions how nonprpfot leaders can to handle things during times of uncertainty.
  • Trina Isakson writes in Leading from the Outside also explains how nonprofit employees can cope with the current leadership in their organizations by either: leaving your current nonprofit, starting your own nonprofit, or sticking with your current nonprofit.
In this time of econmic uncertainity many organizations are looking to the future for answers. For example. La Piana and Associates recently launched the Nonprofit Next initative which asks nonprofit leaders "What trends will have the biggest impact on the nonprofit sector's future?"(see previous post). Additionally, the Independent Sector recently gathered over 50 leaders in Colorado Springs, to discuss the future of nonprofits through their Strategy Lab initative. Neel Hajara writes about his experiences participating in the Strategy Lab.

As nonprofits struggle during this time, where will they turn? To current leadership and strategies or to future leadership trends and solutions?

Next months blog carnival will be hosted by Jason at A Small Change Fundraising Blog.