I’ve been working with a team to meet with and mentor community leaders and staff associated with Israel’s first community foundation. The community foundation, Takdim, is based in Ramat HaSharon (a city comparable to Palo Alto) and officially launched in May 2011. The story behind this effort is fascinating and signals the potential shift in philanthropic culture in Israel (the Center for the Study of Philanthropy at the Hebrew University calculates charitable giving at 0.74% of GDP in comparison to the 2.1% in the United States). Two interesting articles about the new community foundation, its challenges and opportunities are available here and here.
As part of my work with Takdim, I was asked to provide a landscape overview of philanthropy in the United States. I took that as an opportunity to focus on some core concepts around best practices in grantmaking and emerging issues affecting charitable giving and philanthropic efforts. But, I also wanted to provide Takdim with a list of seminal articles, essays, books, and blog posts that have been pushed over the past ten years (in the end I extended it out to 12 years) – in essence, an informal canon on philanthropy.