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Philanthropists—whether large foundations or small donors—often make grants and gifts based on limitedinformation. This essay explores possibilities for capturing, distributing, and ultimately using better information to makebetter philanthropic decisions.

President’s statement by paul brest

Philanthropists—whether large foundations or small donors—often make grants and gifts based on limitedinformation. This essay explores possibilities for capturing, distributing, and ultimately using better information to makebetter philanthropic decisions.

Jacob Harold and Susan Bell both contributed greatly to this essay.

To frame the discussion, consider the information available to private investors who seek primarily financial returns.Investors can make use of a broad array of data, ranging from reports of quarterly earnings statements to the historical andcurrent prices at which stocks are traded—all based on standards that are consistent across many industries,markets, and countries. They can supplement formal data with the reports of industry analysts and gossip on Web sitesand blogs. Based on this information, investors can put together portfolios that are aligned with their investment horizons and tolerance for risks. And at the end of theday, or quarter, they will know their actual returns.

With due caution about importing concepts from business into the nonprofit sector, it is helpful to think of philanthropic donations as investments that seek a social return.This reflects the hopeful belief that philanthropists want their resources to achieve the greatest impact—the biggest bang for their buck.

Whether or not you are attracted to the metaphor of social returns on investments, if you believe that the goal of philanthropy is to improve the world in some way—increasing the graduation rates of disadvantaged youth, feeding the hungry, or preventing AIDS—then the more you accomplish in a timely manner, the better. And ifyou believe that information about an organization’s performance can usefully guide investment decisions, it is disquieting that philanthropists have access to so little of thekinds of information that private investors rely on.

Money is the measure of financial return, and diverse philanthropic investments do not have a single common measure. But I am not talking about that inevitable distinction,nor about the almost equally inevitable obstacles to attributing particular results to your individual philanthropic dollars.

See Foundation Strategy Group, “From Insight to Action: New Directions in Foundation Evaluation” (2007) (http://fsgimpact. org/app/content/actions/item/177).
Rather, I want to the address the difficulty of knowing whether an organization in which you invest has the strategies and capacityto achieve its aims. This difficulty is not inevitable, but it is pervasive. At present, most donors—except possibly very large or highly specialized foundations—simply lack thenecessary data to support informed decisionmaking. This essay outlines the current state of affairs and describes the Hewlett Foundation’s efforts to help create a nonprofit marketplace that provides philanthropists with more and better informationto inform their giving.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, William and flora hewlett foundation annual report 2006. OpenStax CNX. Aug 14, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10448/1.1
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