AL Advising

Philanthropic and Political Consulting

AL Advising works with progressive philanthropists to create a portfolio of civic engagement, policy, and advocacy investments including 501c3, 501c4, candidate, and related political giving. We also work with organizations to help them maximize their effectiveness.

Filtering by Tag: philanthropy

Giving by Women’s Funds Has Soared. And They’re Getting More Savvy and Strategic

A new study by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, “Women’s Foundations and Funds: A Landscape Study,” reveals the grantmaking practices and range of giving philosophies and principles among 209 American women’s foundations and funds that focus on giving to nonprofits that benefit women and girls.  It is the first study of its kind since 2009, when the Women’s Funding Network and Foundation Center issued the report “Accelerating Change for Women: The Role of Women’s Funds,” which studied 145 women’s funds in the Women’s Funding Network

Read more in Inside Philanthropy.

Millennial Donors

There's a fascinating new study from NextGenDonors about Millennial donors. It highlights preferences for giving as well as differences between those who created vs. inherited their wealth. As young people inherit $40 trillion in wealth and continue to become the next generation of self-made millionaires, understanding their unique characteristics becomes increasingly important.

Women in Philanthropy

This article, with insights from the Women's Philanthropy Institute, is of particular interest to me, given my work with Progressive Women Silicon Valley, a political giving circle.

A key takeaway: "Pockets of very powerful women at the community and grassroots level are forming their own giving circles, their own collective giving models, their own modes of engaging in philanthropy, to make powerful changes in their own communities and across the globe," said Mesch.

Five Big Myths About Techies and Philanthropy

Inside Philanthropy has yet another good article out today, Five Big Myths About Techies and Philanthropy. I think the author, David Callahan, does a good job of pointing out common misconceptions about donors from the tech space. Give it a read.

My observations have been that these donors: a) like a big challenge -- "wicked problems" in philanthropy, if you will; b) are open to both traditional and disruptive giving and: c) are, as a whole, giving way under their weight.

Philanthropy Emboldens Government: Sexy Budget Time!

Bloomberg Philanthropies recently released its 2014 Annual Update. In it, Mike Bloomberg notes that, "some still see philanthropy as an alternative to government. I see it as a way to embolden government."

This captures the thinking of so many progressive philanthropists. As states and cities become more and more cash-strapped, private philanthropy is stepping in to meet basic needs. This is not a failure of government but rather a failure of government officials and politicians to provide effective resources for citizen's needs. 

As Vice-President Joe Biden has said, "Don't tell me what you value. Show me your budget and I will tell you what you value." Too often, we are faced with false choices on budget priorities. A multi-tiered approach is needed. Yes, philathropy can step in to meet short-term needs; it's not helpful to tell a homeless person that the city is working on building more housing when someone can pay for more beds that day. But philanthropists and activists should be encouraged to dive in to the really sexy (ha, ha) task of working with local and state officials to re-think budgets.

Let's elect candidates who will think outside of the box on often antiquated systems, like budgets. Let's embolden local community organizations to explain complex budget negotiations and their consequences to the folks who will be truly effected. And let's think bigger about how and why we give and the impact we can have.