Managing Philanthropic Organizations Research Paper

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This research-paper discusses the management dilemmas of foundations, the roots of these, and the ways in which they are handled.1 As foundations exist in many forms and types, it is useful to define them at the onset of this research-paper: Foundations are organizations that control and distribute assets, financial or otherwise, with the following characteristics:

  • Non-membership-based organization
  • Private entity
  • Self-governing entity
  • Nonprofit-distributing entity
  • Grant-making entity
  • Serving a public purpose

Over time, foundations have adopted different models or approaches that provide legitimacy for their purpose, ways of operating, including management styles, and expected and actual impact.

Charity

The first approach, charity, the original model, was in many ways well suited to the social and political context of the 19th century. With inadequate provision by nonprofits and government, foundations provided services to those unable to care for themselves. As governments increasingly began to provide some services for some groups, foundations adapted the service approach to provide services complementary to those of government or to fill gaps in statutory provision. Until the early 20th century, this approach was probably effective; yet, it had and continues to have major shortcomings that prevent foundations from exploiting their fullest potential. First, the charity approach makes a difference to those lucky enough to benefit from the service but, taken alone, has no impact beyond that. Second, the approach tends to operate on the now largely false expectation that someone else will take up the job of widening and sustaining impact. Traditionally, it was assumed that what foundations start, government will and should continue—an assumption that no longer holds. Moreover, this approach can be and is adopted by other nonendowed or noncharitable organizations, such that a distinct role for foundations is no longer obvious. Finally, the charity model addresses symptoms rather than causes. In an important sense, the charity approach changes very little. This was the key criticism that led to the rise of the philanthropic/scientific foundation approach.

Philanthropy

This approach is different from charity in its emphasis on dealing with causes rather than symptoms of problems.

Again, the rise of the philanthropic foundation was a product of its time. In the early to mid-20th century, belief in the power of a “scientific approach” was riding high, as was the notion of social engineering. Social, medical, and economic problems could all be solved once their causes were understood and scientific solutions applied. For all the achievements of the philanthropic/scientific approach, it too suffers from some weaknesses when viewed from a 21st-century perspective.

First, like the charity approach, the philanthropic approach fails fully to exploit the unique potential of endowed foundations. For the most part, this approach can be and is adopted by other kinds of organizations as well. Second, it rests on assumptions that may be true in physical science but are questionable when applied to social issues. If the causes of something as complex as, say, poverty are identifiable, they may not be susceptible to scientific solutions and simple control measures. Third, while the philanthropic approach has much wider potential impact, it often fails to appreciate the long, slow, complex, and expensive path to effective problem solving.

Strategic Philanthropy

In recent years, new approaches have been added to the foundation lexicon that include strategic philanthropy, venture philanthropy, blended value, and so forth. They are, in many respects, descendants of scientific philanthropy. While they have stimulated healthy debate, some fundamental weaknesses remain, stemming in part from their instrumentalist, managerial assumptions. First, they tend to focus on foundation processes rather than roles, and do not address the question of the unique value of foundations in a democracy. Second, they apply business models to foundation practices, with the assumption that if only foundations were run like businesses, all would be well. While these models have something to offer, they are inappropriate guides to achieving social change. Social change is a negotiated, contested, and political process. It is not simply a matter of better management. The complexity of social problems is such that their resolution is never in the hands of one actor. Particularly if the actors, like foundations, do not have the resources commensurate with the problem at hand.

Creative Philanthropy

This is the latest approach, developed in response to the shortcomings of the existing models by Anheier and Leat (2006). Creative foundations do not engage in either charity or scientific philanthropy (i.e., seeking out the causes of problems)—the two historically dominant phases of foundation thinking. Nor do they engage in venture philanthropy, strategic philanthropy, and the related new approaches. Creative foundations seek to

  • exploit their distinctive characteristic of freedom from market and political constraints to make a unique contribution to democratic debate and enhance the problem solving capacity of society, and
  • maximize the breadth and sustainability of their impact (Anheier & Leat, 2006).

The approach is creative in that it seeks to provide new ideas and solutions to enduring social issues; takes an imaginative approach to foundation resources; seeks to establish links between people, ideas, knowledge, and practice; works across conventional boundaries; and employs practices and techniques different from those of conventional foundations (Anheier & Leat, 2006).

Approaches To Foundation Management

Typically, the foundation management literature addresses two central issues: board management—that is, how the board makes decisions and implements them—and grantee management—that is, how funds are allocated, disbursed, and accounted for (see, e.g., Orosz, 2000; Prager, 2003). These foci are reflective of a more narrow vision of what foundations do and they cast them as seemingly insular funding agencies with set patterns of operations. By contrast, we take a broader view of foundation management and suggest that managing a creative approach goes well beyond board and grantee management. At the same time, and in line with modern management literature (see Magretta, 2002), we argue that no management model fits all circumstances equally well, and like organizational design itself, management approaches are context and task specific.

The management of foundations, like that of any other formal and goal-oriented organization, involves three critical aspects (Magretta, 2002). First, the chief responsibility of management is value creation in relation to the organization’s stated mission and goals. For example, if the mission is to bring about greater social justice, support the arts, or help the homeless to gain paid employment, all management activities should contribute to the stated objectives around that mission: value creation toward social justice, toward the arts, or for fighting homelessness. In this sense, foundation management is all about how a mission is to be accomplished within the guidelines established in the deed and as interpreted by the board.

Second, within such guidelines, management involves making critical, clear, and consistent choices. This means weighing trade-offs and establishing boundaries. It is as much about what to do well as it is about what not to do at all. Given a limited deed, making choices and setting priorities may be easier but restricts the space and ways in which a foundation can grow and change over time as circumstances change. The challenge here becomes one of maintaining relevance. By contrast, having a very broad set of guidelines makes goal and priority setting more complex, and the challenge for management is focus and consistency around some medium- to long-term vision. At the same time, change is easier as more options are possible and can be explored.

Third, the organizational design and management style are not only contingent upon mission and goals but also on the task environment in which the foundation finds itself. The term task environment refers to the specific elements with which the foundation interacts in the course of its operations. This includes first and foremost the nature of the product or service provided and the grantees, clients, or audiences involved. Clearly, it will make a difference for organizational design if the foundation seeks to influence long-term policy change, supports disaster relief overseas, awards scholarships to disadvantaged students, or runs homes for the frail elderly.

Orosz (2002) identified seven challenges and seven tradeoffs in conventional foundation management. In summary, the challenges are that inexperienced foundation managers are expected to deliver results with untrained staff, with staff who have little in common, face few external pressures for improvement, with boards who do not share the ideologies of staff who themselves are ideologically divided. Orosz concluded that given these challenges the wonder is “not that there is some poor performance in the foundation world, but rather that there is so much good—even excellent—performance” (p. 5).

The “inevitable trade-offs” in foundation management are, first, high overhead for a full-service foundation versus low overhead to maximize spending on grants; and second, strategic planning for focus versus flexibility to make the most of unforeseen opportunities. The third trade-off is between specialism for depth and generalism for breadth (Orosz, 2002, p. 6). The fourth trade-off is between relying on experts and relying on people in communities that have practical experience with the issue; the more a foundation relies on one, the less credibility it is likely to have with the other. Orosz’s fifth trade-off is between high uncertainty, risky projects that have the potential for great results, and low uncertainty, safer projects that are more likely to deliver mediocre results. The sixth trade-off is between high profile and low, or no, profile; the latter is safer and more comfortable, the former may be more effective for some purposes: “Harry Truman was right. If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. But if you get out of the kitchen, don’t expect to have a guaranteed place at the table” (p. 8). The final trade-off is between the “individual entrepreneur” and “managed team” approaches to grantmaking: “A free wheeling entrepreneur will suffocate on a managed team, while a managed team member will feel adrift in an undefined entrepreneurial environment” (p. 8). Trying to operate managed teams of entrepreneurs is, according to Orosz, doomed to failure.

Creative foundations face many of the challenges identified by Orosz (2002). But rather than seeing them as problems to be solved, creative foundations see them as productive tensions to be exploited. Similarly, although creative foundations are conscious of Orosz’s trade-offs, they see these not as matters of either/or but rather as not only/but also. However, creative foundations face other challenges. As discussed further in the following, creative foundations illustrate that management models, challenges, and trade-offs are context and role/task specific.

As previously outlined, creative foundations see their roles as using their unique freedom from political and market pressures to stimulate creative, constructive, conversation, debate, and action, enhancing the problem-solving capacity of society and contributing to civic engagement and democracy. What are the management implications of this, and how do they relate to Orosz’s (2002) challenges?

Orosz’s Challenges

Lack of Opportunities for Preemployment Education and Training

Orosz’s (2002) first challenge faced by foundations is lack of opportunities for preemployment education and training. Because creativity and innovation, in conception and implementation, typically involve reaching across established boundaries, creative foundations see their position as critical boundary spanners in modern society, sitting on the edge of an array of institutions, disciplines, and professions, as a resource to be nurtured. Given this philosophy, creative foundations see diversity among staff and between board and staff as an advantage, and they deliberately set out to recruit both board and staff members from diverse backgrounds, with diverse skills.

Staff from outside the mainstream foundation world bring new skills and approaches to attacking old problems and may be better able to cope with the move from a charity to a creative approach and the lack of immediate satisfactions of dispensing grants to grateful recipients. Without training in the foundation world, staff come to the foundation unencumbered by traditional assumptions and expectations; they are better able to break from the past and see foundation roles and strategies, as well as the issues they address, in new ways. Diversity and lack of training in the foundation world enhances variance—a powerful tool in encouraging creativity.

In addition to looking for different qualities for existing posts, given the range of tasks involved in adopting a creative approach, new and different staff are needed, for example, staff with skills in communications, evaluation, and so on. While conventional foundations tend to be largely comprised of program officers with a broadly shared set of skills and cultures, the manager of a creative approach has to manage the competing norms, values, demands, and expectations of a variety of different professions and disciplines. Communications staff may see things very differently from program staff, and both may see things differently from evaluation staff.

Lack of a Cohesive Culture

Lack of a cohesive culture, according to Orosz (2002), stems from “a riotous diversity of education and work experience. The result is divergent world views, diverse priorities, even different ways of perceiving and knowing” (p. 3). For creative foundations, divergent worldviews are an advantage enabling the foundation to get out of the rut of conventional definitions of roles, resources, problems, and solutions and to attack an issue from several different sides. Accepting that innovation is encouraged in situations of overlap in cultures and networks, creative foundations will often go further by actively seeking out dissenting voices and creating opportunities for bringing diverse perspectives together both internally and externally.

Diversity in backgrounds and perspectives may imply lack of a cohesive culture but does not necessarily imply lack of cohesion. In creative foundations, cohesion comes from a common commitment to the role and values of the foundation and the outcomes it seeks. Outcomes sought and appropriate strategies are arrived at through iterative discussion involving staff and board members, with different perspectives, each contributing a different part of a jigsaw that joins achievable outcomes with coherent grant making, communication, and learning strategies for change.

Lack of a Salutary External Discipline

For creative foundations, freedom from the constraints of pleasing customers or constituencies is one of their defining characteristics and greatest strengths. This “lack of external discipline” enables them to be creative, to think the unthinkable, to challenge conventional approaches, to take risks, to take a long view, and to add to the variety and richness of democratic debate. Rather than encouraging them to avoid rocking the boat (as Orosz, 2002 suggested is true of most foundations), awareness of this characteristic enables them to “rock the boat.” Again, it is creative foundations’ clear analysis of their unique strengths and roles that turns lack of external discipline into a motivating rather than an enervating factor. The conventional foundation culture of not rocking the boat comes not from lack of an external discipline but from foundations’ failure to recognize that their unique role arises from precisely that freedom.

But without an external discipline, where is the incentive for learning and improving? Whereas many conventional foundations start with foundation-generated programs, rules, and ways of doing things, creative foundations start with an outcome they seek to achieve. Following on from the outcome, the creative foundation analyzes who or what would have to change to achieve that outcome, how that might be achieved, and what would count as success along the way. Incentives for learning and improvement come from regular review against those milestones, encouraging the foundation to question, “Is this working?” and “If not, where are we going wrong, what has changed, what are we missing and how can we improve on that?”

In an important sense, the quest for learning and improvement is built into the culture of creative foundations in two other ways. First, the decision to adopt a creative approach often arises from dissatisfaction with conventional approaches (as in the case of The Wallace Foundation). Part of the management task in a creative foundation is to maintain “constructive dissatisfaction,” always looking for ways in which the foundation could do better. Second, the quest for improvement and learning is built into the culture of creative foundations via their definition of their roles. Learning how to do things better, where the obstacles to change are, and so on, and sharing that learning with others is part of what creative foundations are about.

Lack of Reliable Feedback

In theory, creative foundations are as prone to lack of reliable feedback as any other foundation. In practice, they manage this problem by redefining feedback not as praise or blame, but as mutual learning. They develop often long-term relationships with grantees, beneficiaries, and target groups in which learning how to see or do things better is the common goal. Learning what does not work is as important as learning what does. The enterprise is not about success and failure but about learning and improving.

Creative foundations often actively cultivate critics, recognizing that

Active critics are a great asset. Without the slightest expenditure of time or effort, we have our weakness and error made apparent and alternatives proposed. We need only listen carefully, dismiss that which arises from ignorance, ignore that which arises from envy or malice and embrace that which has merit. (Hock, 2002)

Bringing those with opposing views into meetings stimulates creativity, promotes learning and provides an opportunity for the creative foundation to broker dialogue.

Lack of an Accepted Body of Best Practice

Given the lack of a common baseline, foundation workforces tend to become like Garrison Keilor’s Lake Woebegone, where all the children are above average. It isn’t so, of course, but in the absence of generally accepted standards, who’s to argue? (Orosz, 2002, p. 4)

Creative foundations certainly work in an environment with no accepted body of best practice. But beyond some basic ethical, due diligence and reporting standards, it is unclear whether an “accepted body of best practice” is a desirable or feasible goal. An accepted body of best practice might be comforting, but would it foster real innovation and change? For conventional foundations that see their role as dispensing grants to achieve specified outputs/outcomes, an accepted body of best practice has some obvious applications and attractions. But for creative foundations who see their role not as dispensing money, but rather as using a range of tangible and intangible resources, including knowledge and networks to promote creative debate and change, the feasibility and desirability of an accepted body of best practice are less clear. For creative foundations, innovation and change are not seen as working to fixed standards and patterns. There is no one surefire route to achieving change because circumstances alter cases and change changes. What may be best practice in one case may be inappropriate and unhelpful in another.

Lack of Ideological Cohesion

Orosz’s (2002) sixth and seventh challenges facing foundations are lack of ideological cohesion between board and staff and within the staff itself. As previously discussed, creative foundations welcome—indeed, deliberately seek out—diversity in backgrounds, experience, and perspectives. The foundation’s ideology is to be creative, to use its unique position and resources, and to have an impact beyond its immediate grantees by raising awareness and contributing to informed, constructive conversation and public debate. Creative foundations are driven by a constant desire to improve and to learn how to do it better, positively encouraging critical review. In short, ideological cohesion comes from valuing different viewpoints, skills, and contributions. The CEO’s role is to ensure that diversity is harnessed for creativity rather than descending into paralyzing chaos.

Staying focused on the role and tasks of the creative approach requires constant attention, including “keeping the board onboard.” Creative foundations studied emphasized the need to ensure genuine involvement, regular and informative (as distinct from cursory) updates on current work and progress evaluations, and advance warning of any looming controversies (see also Carson, 2003).

The manager of a foundation adopting a creative approach also has to build ideological cohesion around the foundation’s role among staff. Staff may be more resistant to change than the board. In relation to building both board and staff commitment, creative foundations recognize that achieving change is a campaign, not an event. Managers should not expect people to embrace the need for change easily; the manager’s job is to create a readiness to change by encouraging dissatisfaction with current achievements and ways of doing things. Readiness comes from dissatisfaction, from education, and from guiding people to conclude that change is necessary.

Creative Foundations and Orosz’s Trade-Offs

Although creative foundations face many of the issues identified by Orosz (2002) as “trade-offs,” they tend to see these not as choices but rather as givens or as combinations. Foundations adopting a creative approach have to be “ambidextrous organizations,” mastering the art of “not only/but also” (Tushman, Anderson, & O’Reilly, 1998).

High Overhead Versus Low Overhead

Creative foundations tend to have higher overheads than many mainstream foundations not least because they attach considerable significance to and spend considerable time on research and thinking prior to getting involved in an issue, to learning from and adjusting strategies as they go along, and to communication of issues and learning to a variety of others. Because foundations adopting a creative approach start with an outcome, spending is largely, within limits, driven by what it takes for grantees and for the foundation to achieve that outcome.

Whereas conventional foundations generally believe that the lower their overhead costs the better, the foundation adopting a creative approach sees overhead costs in terms of what is necessary for foundation effectiveness. If this means slipping over into operating, with all the implications of that for percent overhead costs, then this too is accepted. Spending and overhead is, however, somewhat reduced by creative foundations’ willingness to use their networks to borrow brains and other resources from others. Although creative foundations are wary of becoming overly “padded,” they do not see a higher overhead than conventional foundations as a problem per se. “Overheads” are the cost of effectiveness and following through to the outcome they seek, rather than dropping the baton half way through the race. Overheads are the price foundations pay to add value via their reputation, knowledge, and networks.

Strategic Planning and Flexibility

Adopting a creative approach involves focus and flexibility. In order to build reputation and credibility, to develop sound knowledge, and to build rich networks in a particular field, creative foundations focus on a small number of priorities in a limited number of fields. But creativity requires space and freedom. Flexibility is also necessary to take advantage of unforeseen opportunities, new points of access, and leverage for change. Creative foundations spend time scanning the environment, keeping up with changes, and spotting trends, newly opening policy windows and new issues.

Creative foundations are strategic in the sense that they focus on a limited number of issues and in that they analyze who and what has to change, how they can be reached, and what resources the foundation has to achieve that. They spend time planning strategy but, because they recognize environmental complexity and dynamism, and that social and policy change involves seizing opportunities, the plan is seen as a flexible framework from which to depart. Strategic planning and flexibility are not either/or but and/and.

Broad Versus Deep

For creative foundations, the issue is not broad versus deep knowledge but rather broad and deep knowledge. Creative foundations build up and on their knowledge at different levels, engage in active knowledge management, involve grants officers with first-hand knowledge more fully in executive decision making, and seek more diverse board compositions to draw in different experiences and knowledge sets. They need deep knowledge, not least for reputation and legitimacy, but they also recognize the innovative power of both acquiring and spreading knowledge broadly. Working initially in a limited number of innovation sites that are varied in character and composition is one way in which they marry deep and broad knowledge. Working in innovation sites also enables them to see issues holistically—another way of using breadth to deepen knowledge and stimulate creative perceptions of problems and the resolution. Working at different levels—for example, local and national—has a similar effect.

Community Based Versus Expert Based

Again, for creative foundations community- and expert-based knowledge is not a matter of either/or, but one of not only/but also. Because innovation tends to come from the margins rather than from the mainstream, creative foundations recognize that they need to work in different places and at a variety of levels. Creative foundations see this ability to work across boundaries in different places as one of their unique assets. Foundations’ independent resources mean that they can develop relationships with the powerful and the powerless and with the rich and poor and that they are free to mix disciplines and professions. Foundations can converse with everyone and be dependent on none.

Private foundations have no generalized authority. Foundations cannot, for example, raise taxes or make laws. Unlike many other nonprofit and religious organizations, foundations cannot claim authority derived from membership or representation. Foundations adopting a creative approach recognize the importance of authority in intervening to make a difference, and their lack of democratically derived authority. Although such foundations may use the composition of their board to gain/borrow some authority (and may select board members to that end), they know that neither this nor their money is sufficient alone. Foundations adopting a creative approach deliberately set out to earn authority through what they know and do. They engage in the slow, arduous process of building expertise and reputation as reliable, credible authorities in particular domains.

They build their reputations as authorities in a particular domain by demonstration projects, site initiatives, research, and wide communication of the findings derived from these initiatives. Many such foundations’ authority-building activities combine a variety of styles; they marry a wide, statistically robust overview with anecdotes, case studies, listening to people, on-the-ground experiments, and data. This is a very different approach from that condemned by conservative foundations distrustful of university researchers and professionals (see, e.g., Schambra & Shaffer, 2004). By combining qualitative and quantitative and the emotional and the objective, and by appealing to hearts and minds, foundations adopting a creative approach draw on two very different sources of popular authority: experiential and rational. Combining and synthesizing expert- and community-based knowledge is one of the ways in which creative foundations use their unique position between institutional fields and boundaries to add value.

High Uncertainty Versus High Certainty

For creative foundations high uncertainty and high certainty are not trade-offs or choices. Uncertainty is simply a fact of life for these foundations. This is true for at least four reasons.

First, creative foundations accept that they work in complex and dynamic environments. Second, innovation involves risk and uncertainty. This means that foundations wanting to innovate have to embrace uncertainty, be open about it, and not hide behind demands for short-term performance and output indicators or safe funding practices to justify their legitimacy. Supporting innovation has to take the risk of failure into account. The important point is that foundations, unlike other institutions, can afford to absorb such risks. Third, the outcomes the foundation seeks to achieve usually require long-term commitment, and in the short term, there may be few obviously visible results. Board members and staff need to remain confident and committed. Several of the foundations studied suggested that board members more easily cope with the “slow burn” marathon of the creative approach if the foundation also has some more immediately satisfying shorter term projects/ grants. Another strategy to ease the ache of the slow burn may be to ensure some early results by knocking at already half-open policy doors.

Achieving the often long “drip drip” of social change is especially frustrating in a culture that likes to be constantly keeping score and moving on. However, the process of change in organizations and in society is

more like a soccer match; you have to appreciate the seemingly endless positioning that precedes the sporadic scoring . . . the progress resulting from discontinuous change is actually the sum of dozens, even hundreds, of difficult and unheralded events that together keep the battleship turning in the right direction. (Lawrence, 1998, p. 307)

Selecting milestones and trumpeting the small successes along the way are important comforts on the journey.

Fourth, because foundations adopting a creative approach accept that change is an uncertain process affected by a variety of foreseeable and unforeseeable, of known and unknown, and of actors and factors, they accept that the foundation’s role in achieving any given outcome is always uncertain and often unknowable with any precision. For this reason, foundations adopting a creative approach accept the value of soft performance measures. They also accept, and have to live with, uncertainty over their precise role in achieving desired outcomes. Adopting a creative approach requires courage and humility.

All of this is easier to say than to do, not least because it goes against the grain of conventional management wisdom. Adopting a creative approach, building innovation, and learning requires for staff and grantees

  1. de-emphasizing individual accountability—focusing on goals rather than assigning blame and responsibility;
  2. avoiding quantitative goals and overrigid budgets—asking people to be innovative without departing from plans, budgets, and standard operating procedures does not work;
  3. not punishing mistakes; failing early and often is better than failing once at the end of a program; and
  4. discouraging internal competition. (Pfeffer, 2002, p. 102)

High Profile Versus Low Profile

Recognizing that innovations are controversial and defining their role in terms of stimulating debate, unlike many conventional foundations, creative foundations do not shy away from controversy and the public eye but are open about what they fund and for what reasons. Creative foundations accept that innovation is not just a matter of new ideas and practices but also often a political process in the sense that change requires challenging existing accepted thinking, policies, and practices, whether at the level of government, organizations, or the public. Because communication is an essential part of the creative foundation’s task, having a high media profile is seen as a good rather than a bad or optional thing.

But at the same time, creative foundations manage their profile and, on occasions, may choose to maintain a lower profile. Their aim is not so much to bring attention to the foundation but rather to the issues—that is the balance they seek rather than one between a high and low profile per se. It is also important to have the right sort of high profile. Creative foundations work to build a high profile based on knowledge, experience, and political neutrality. The soundness of their knowledge, as well as their careful use of language, is seen as their protection against accusations of being partisan.

Entrepreneurs Versus Teams

A creative approach requires flexibility and opportunism, thinking outside of the box, and working across boundaries. As previously discussed, creative foundations are knowledge and social issue entrepreneurs. But at the same time, the foundation needs teamwork, structure, and process to get things done. Creativity without process becomes unmanageable, but process without creativity becomes meaningless routine. The manager’s task is to balance the two forces in “creative abrasion” (Brown & Duguid, 2002). Again, a passion for achieving the outcome sought, as well as recognition that getting to the outcome requires team entrepreneurship and different skills, provides important cohesion and discipline.

Nevertheless, creative foundations face challenges similar to those identified by Kao (1996) discussing managing creativity in business:

  • Can you have creativity on demand
  • How to balance the need for freedom with the need for structure
  • How to balance desire for unlimited development time with desire for deadlines
  • How to balance participation and informal communication with the need for hierarchy and structured authority
  • How to design useful systems for planning, resource allocation, and information flow
  • How to manage conflicts between the creative and the managerial
  • How to identify the potential value in such conflicts

Conclusion

This research-paper suggests that management challenges and trade-offs are not the same for all foundations but are related in important ways to how foundations see their roles and task environment. We have focused on foundations that see their unique roles as requiring high creative and entrepreneurial capacity and their task environment as uncertain in terms of both complexity and dynamism. Exploring the management implications of this approach involves moving away from technocratic, rationalist management models to embrace a management concept more fully in tune with the realities of these foundations.

References:

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  5. Carson, E. (2003). A foundation’s journey into public policy engagement. In F. Ellsworth & J. Lumarda (Eds.), From grantmaker to leader: Emerging strategies for 21st century foundation (pp. 157-174). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley.
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  11. Orosz, J. L. (2002). Terra incognita: Poorly understood challenges and trade-offs of managing private foundations. Paper presented at the Waldemar A. Nielsen Issues in Philanthropy Seminar Series, Georgetown University Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership, Washington, DC.
  12. Pfeffer, J. (2002). To build a culture of innovation, avoid conventional management wisdom. In F. Hessselbein, M. Goldsmith, & I. Somerville (Eds.), Leading for Innovation and organizing for results (pp. 95-104). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  13. Prager, D. J. (2003). Organizing foundations for maximum impact: A guide to effective philanthropy. Washington, DC: The As-pen Institute.
  14. Schambra, W., & Shaffer, K. (2004). Grassroots rising: A conservative call for philanthropic renewal. Nonprofit Quarterly, 11(3). Retrieved September 11, 2007, from http://www.non profitquarterly.org/section/560.html
  15. Tushman, M. L., Anderson, P., & O’Reilly, C. (1998). Levers for organization renewal: Innovation streams, ambidextrous organizations and strategic change. In D. Hambrick, D. Nadler, & M. Tushman (Eds.), Navigating change: How CEOs, top teams and boards steer transformation (pp. 318-346). Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

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