Re-Constructing Philanthropy From the Outside-In: A Funder-to-Funder Point of View

Publication date: 
February, 2015

Paul Shoemaker of Social Venture Partners Seattle shares his thoughts in this essay published in Stanford Social Innovation Review on funders can create breakthrough social change through their philanthropic practices.

Shoemaker argues that funders should work with an orientation that is more “outside-in” rather than an “inside-out” approach. An “outside-in” approach would mean a foundation would consider more of the following practices:

  • Providing un-restricted (not un-accountable) funding.
  • Providing funding for the long-term – much, much longer-term than is currently practiced.
  • Connecting to our peers in sustained, systemic ways, and doing this as the rule, not the exception.
  • Helping to build many more great, strong boards.
  • Listening to our beneficiaries much more closely.
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