Traditional giving helps one person at a time by providing charity for immediate short-term needs. Strategic giving focuses on change and builds for the future.

Liberty Hill Foundation

By strategic philanthropy, we mean effective giving which is designed around focused research, creative planning, proven strategies, careful execution and thorough follow-up in order to achieve the intended results. To be truly effective and rewarding, strategic philanthropy must also reflect and be driven by your core values and concerns.

The Philanthropic Initiative, Inc.

Strategic philanthropy describes practices through which companies align charitable activities such as donations and volunteerism with a social issue or cause that supports their business objectives. Thinking about giving strategically (financially, through in-kind donations, and with volunteers) means considering the value added to your business through philanthropic initiatives.

Center for Corporate Citizenship

Strategic philanthropy refers both to the working philosophy and the program strategies of a foundation. It originates from an entrepreneurial view of foundation activities which focuses around strategy, key competencies and striving for effective contributions to social change. Strategic philanthropy involves institutions driven by:

  • a vision of the desirable society of the future,
  • a distinct value orientation in their activities,
  • a concept of social change to the effect of greater social justice rather than the mere grant-making to address social problems,
  • the conviction that foundations serve as laboratories to develop model solutions, new ways of thinking, and new understanding for resolving societal problems,
  • the awareness that innovative models and approaches should include both blueprints and a focus on practical implementation and applicability,
  • a concern for the effectiveness of their philanthropic endeavors,
  • a proactive approach, be it in their own activities, be it in partnering or grant-making,
  • an awareness for capacity building and organizational learning among grantees/partners,
  • a public policy orientation driven by the potential of taking project results to scale on policy levels,
  • and the insight that philanthropy provides for investment in the production of public goods, preferably aiming at innovations or increased effectiveness.