Originally published in Latest from Alliance on February 12, 2012
‘Motivate others to work collaboratively to do great things’. I was struck by this definition used to select seven 2011 Top American Leaders. Wouldn’t it be a great expectation for philanthropy leaders as well?
We all know that philanthropic dollars will only accomplish a tiny portion of what we want to see in society. Motivating others, both inside and outside of your organization, and within and beyond the world of philanthropy is essential. Funders are making important progress at working collaboratively – I’ve seen a marked difference in the last ten years – but we’ve still got a long way to go. And grantmaking practices are still more likely to discourage collaboration than to encourage non-profits and other actors to work together productively.
The Top Leaders competition’s definition of leadership also included the intent to ‘do great things’. Don’t philanthropists need to be as daring and committed to doing ‘great things’ as the visionary community leaders, activists and social entrepreneurs we showcase and support?
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