When I inquired about a possible internship at Philanthropiece, I was motivated by one particularly intriguing aspect of the organization; it’s a foundation that is a non grant making entity. I was fascinated with the idea of an operational foundation, something I’d never heard of before. It has taken a while for me to fully grasp what being an “operational foundation” entails, and I’d like to briefly outline the model here in the blog. The key is to collaborate; preventing competition for scarce resources. Philanthropiece’s model of partnership allows us to work in tandem with organiz
ations already on the ground in the communities on the same program(s) before we consider running our own programming; allowing us to increase the resources allocated to the initial program, learn about the community’s unique situation, and prevent program overlap if we start our own programming. Our partners are already established in and familiar with the communities in which we work, and we truly value the ability to learn from and contribute to their work. What makes Philanthropiece different from a traditional foundation? We recognize that problems go deeper than funding, and that solutions must do the same.
By Carrie Keith, Philanthropiece Office Intern