What If: Insights From a Decade of Philanthropic R&D

What If: Insights From a Decade of Philanthropic R&D

Providing nonprofit leaders with the time, space, and resources to pursue innovative solutions to complex challenges can strengthen networks, bolster connections, and lead to welcome results, a report from the Los Angeles-based finds. The report, (28 pages, PDF), highlights the impact and lessons learned from the first ten years of the foundation's Stanton Fellowship Program, which provides nonprofit leaders with $100,000 over a two-year period to formulate a "big question" related to improving Angelenos' lives and the space to develop and test solutions to the problem. By funding nonprofit leaders and open-ended inquiry instead of pre-defined projects, the report notes, the program has helped harness the power of fellows' networks, contributed to the fertilization of cross-disciplinary ideas, and amplified the impact of fellows' solutions. The deeper understanding program participants gained from their research, experiences, and new connections also has been invested back into their own networks, in many cases resulting in a shift in perspective vis-a-vis the best way to address a given problem.