Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Donor-Champions—A New Approach to Socially Engaged Philanthropy
by Steckler, Susan Burke, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2010, 70; 10305774
Abstract (Summary)

This research paper explores the dynamic relationship between individual philanthropic donors and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to determine how to best leverage the alliance for greater impact in bringing about social change. Whether they are called ‘venture philanthropists,’ ‘social entrepreneurs,’ or ‘philanthrocapitalists,’ and whether they are individuals acting on their own or through a philanthropic institution— private donors interested in creating social change are continually seeking opportunities to further stretch funding.

The need for maximally effective philanthropy has become even more evident as NGOs scramble to meet Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Through an in-depth analysis conducting interviews with NGOs, donors, and philanthropic experts and a review of current literature, this paper examines if private donor involvement enhances NGO impact and analyzes aspects of how this relationship functions.

The paper identifies and defines what makes a donor-champion . The research shows four critical areas of interaction where donors can leverage their personal and institutional strength to improve NGO sustainability and outcomes. As demonstrated through case-study examples, donor-champion ‘best practices’ include: 1) Partnership—working together in truly collaborative relationships supporting community-led initiatives, 2) Bridging Knowledge—linking social enterprise and mainstream business practices to build NGO capacity, 3) Voice—connecting and encouraging shared knowledge and solutions with other donors, NGOs, academics, and governmental institutions, and 4) Dedication—remaining with the organization to provide long-term support for comprehensive project evaluation and follow-through.

Keywords: philanthropy, donor-champion, NGO, capacity building, social change

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Higginson, Cornelia Connie
Commitee: Perry, Susan
School: The American University of Paris (France)
Department: International Affairs
School Location: France
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Public policy, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Capacity building, Donor-champions, Nongovernmental organizations, Philanthropy, Social engagement
Publication Number: 10305774
ISBN: 978-1-369-49338-2
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