Archive for October, 2012

Contacting our New York office this week

October 31, 2012

The Institute’s New York office will likely be closed for the rest of this week due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Tracy, Jodi and Otar currently have intermittent access to email and phone, so please forgive the delay in response to any queries. If you have an urgent enquiry, please contact the London office at or +44 (0) 207 240 0262.

The Philanthropy Plus Learning Day scheduled for 1st November in New York has been postponed. If you were registered to attend the event, the TPW team will be in contact soon with a new date. If you couldn’t make the 1st November originally, and are interested in joining us on the new date, please let us know on

31st October 2012


Module One of the 19th Cohort of The Philanthropy Workshop starts this week

October 15, 2012

Last night at a dinner in central London we were excited to welcome ten philanthropists to join the nineteenth cohort of The Philanthropy Workshop (TPW). This week marks the beginning of the year-long programme of learning where participants will acquire the knowledge, skills and networks to achieve the maximum impact in their giving. Over the course of the year, the philanthropists will attend three one-week modules; the first in London, the next in Patagonia, and the final one in New York.  By the end of TPW some of them will refine a strategy they are already implementing, while others will come away with a completely new vision for their philanthropy.

Module One is focussed upon understanding the principles of, and building the skills for, strategic philanthropy.  We examine questions such as: What is strategic philanthropy?  How do you conduct due diligence on charities?  Participants will learn about the various levers that philanthropy can push to effect lasting social change, and will be able to identify pitfalls to avoid.  We will hear from a wide range of sector leaders who will illustrate different approaches to and best practice in social change work including Danyal Sattar of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, TPW alumnus and Chairman of the Oak Foundation Dr. Kristian Parker, Graham Allen MP, and Mark Woodruff of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts. The cohort will be challenged to analyse the effectiveness of the strategy and communications used by those they interact with, leaving them eager to spend more time learning about social problems and solutions so that they can create or catalyse greater positive change in the world.  This learning isn’t complete after the three-week programme; strategic philanthropists are those who continue to learn over time and adapt to changing circumstances and new opportunities.

In the coming weeks we’ll be reporting back from some of the sessions from TPW on our blog, so keep checking this site for updates.

If you have any questions about The Philanthropy Workshop, please email the TPW team on

Getting started with social media for charities

October 11, 2012

Last week the Institute held a webinar surgery on the application of social media to further charitable organisations’ missions. The session was hosted by TPW alumni and social media experts Fran and William Perrin of the Indigo Trust, who did a fantastic job of tackling participants’ queries, challenges and worries about using social media within their work.  Many people joined us from across the globe to hear Fran and William’s presentation, which gave advice as to how to ‘get started’ on social media, busted social media myths like ‘it’s only for young people’ (it’s not!), and offered examples of what social media could do to further the work of the not-for-profit sector as a whole. Following the presentation, the audience were invited to ask our speakers questions about how they could best use social media as tools to work towards achieving their charitable goals. The whole session was both interesting and insightful, and participants left with some very practical tips to maximise the digital tools at their disposal.

Here are our top tips for getting started on social media:

  1. Think of approaching social media like arriving at a cocktail party: listen and watch for a bit first before you join in with the conversation.
  2. Don’t be afraid: the best way to learn is to play around with it. If you are interested, perhaps you could join Twitter or Facebook personally to see what it’s like before you do anything professionally.
  3. Don’t be put off by jargon.
  4. Think about what you have to contribute; not just words, but pictures, audio and video as well.
  5. Be yourself!

If you would like to watch and listen to a recording of the webinar, please email Daisy Wakefield at 

The Institute for Philanthropy published a paper (which was generously funded by the Indigo Trust) on the topic of ‘Philanthropy and Social Media’. The paper offers a wealth of information on the topic and is available in PDF format here.