Your foundation and today's social impact culture: What's changed?


Today's social impact culture has changed operating priorities for family foundations and other private philanthropic institutions. Contemporary philanthropy requires increased transparency and accountability. Embolden tracks trends closely to help you meet your stakeholders' demands, efficiently and effectively, through our technology-enabled business solutions.

If you are running a family foundation, corporate foundation, or other grant making institution, what does today's social impact culture mean to you? Here are three trends you need to watch as you manage your foundation to meet the growing expectations of stakeholders, including regulators, grantees, and the community itself.

1. Be specific and accurate through impeccable data and financial reporting.

Foundations are accountable for every single transaction. On top of that, it is becoming increasingly important for foundations to document and communicate the impact of their grant making. Stakeholders are paying more attention. Your back office and communications strategies must yield statistics and stories showing how your foundation's dollars have impacted real people's lives, short term and long term.

2. Be authentic by engaging hearts and minds through both passion and evidence of impact.

Your passion for community causes will speak to stakeholders' hearts. At the same time, it's important to engage stakeholders' minds with your impeccable record keeping and reporting. In today's social impact culture, enthusiasm for your areas of grant making must be backed up with transactional excellence, quality reporting, and best practices systems for grantee accountability. It is critical to be able to show a community return on your foundation's investments.

3. Be everywhere as you share evidence of your impact, in a celebratory and appropriate way.

In today’s social impact culture, good communication is not on a single channel. Make sure your administration, grant making, and finance teams are always ready (and able!) to pull reports quickly to share your foundation's social impact. In this era of transparency and accountability, your foundation can't afford to be "dark" on any channel. Celebrate your impact and your community--appropriately and responsibly--through your website, social media, annual reports, emails, personal meetings, and all of the other ways your target audiences are connecting with each other in work, life, and community.