Build Knowledge and Skills
Whether you’re new to philanthropy or looking to deepen your understanding of the world of giving, you’ve come to the right place. At IP, we’ve created two kinds of resources to help our members build their knowledge and expand their skills: Explainers and State of American Philanthropy papers.
Explainers cover the basics of philanthropy. If you’re new to the charitable sector, this is a great place to start getting up to speed. The State of American Philanthropy series is designed to help IP members gain a deeper understanding of key areas of giving. These in-depth papers look at the top funders and nonprofits working on different issues, along with giving trends and insights from fundraisers.
What is a private foundation, exactly? And how do they make decisions? What’s a grant report? What’s the difference between “general operating support” and “project support?” These are just a few of the questions that might be running through your mind if you’re new to the world of philanthropy and fundraising.
It doesn’t need to be so confusing.
Inside Philanthropy offers this series of brief “explainers” to introduce you to the basics of philanthropy, defining key terms and elucidating important debates to help you find your way through all the jargon to become a more informed, more effective fundraiser or donor. If you're totally new philanthropy, we suggest you start by first reading our introductory primer, which is the first explainer below.
State of American Philanthropy
The State of American Philanthropy is a series of background papers on trends in U.S. philanthropy. The papers draw on past research and writing by Inside Philanthropy writers, as well as new interviews, grantmaking data, and other sources. In the coming months, IP will be expanding this series as part of our ongoing mission to explain who’s funding what and why—organized by key issues, geographic places, and special topics.
From American zoos to African elephants, funders that care about animals are engaged in a range of grantmaking approaches.
The quest for breakthroughs against cancer has catalyzed a wide range of funding efforts, often led by major individual donors.
Some of the world’s biggest foundations and richest people have been stepping up funding to combat climate change.
Philanthropy works in a range of ways to improve communities, often partnering with government.
How funders back efforts to conserve land, reduce pollution, and foster sustainable agriculture.
There’s been a big rise in funding for criminal justice reform in recent years, from top billionaire donors to small family foundations.
A limited number of foundations and major donors, as well as some corporations, support dance nonprofits with grants and gifts.
A brief about foundations and individual donors are giving to support U.S. voting rights, civic education, and more.
A growing number of foundations and major donors are giving to support early learning opportunities.
An in-depth look at funding giving grants for nonprofits advocating ways to reduce poverty.
Funding for film isn’t easy to come by, but both foundations and corporations make grants for filmmakers and film nonprofits.
Some of the U.S.’s biggest funders are at the forefront of grantmaking to reduce poverty and hunger around the world.
Global health funders are moving beyond fighting infectious diseases to take on a wider range of health challenges.
Private philanthropy plays a small but important role in responding to humanitarian crises.
Supporting colleges and universities is a long-time focus of philanthropy, with major donors playing the biggest role in this space.
A brief about how foundations and major donors make grants to support affordable housing and reduce homelessness.
A wide variety of funders make grants for nonprofits serving immigrants and refugees, a field that’s seen many changes in recent years.
Increased giving for journalism and media has powered a major expansion of nonprofit media over the past decade.
K-12 education is a top priority for many funders, who are backing a growing range of approaches.
A brief about funders for LGBTQ, including private foundations, billionaire philanthropists and major corporations.
Foundations and major are backing a range of approaches to improving mental health research, treatment and care.
While music draws a relatively small amount of giving, a number of core funders are deeply committed to this area.
Neuroscience research has attracted many new funders in recent years, especially major individual donors.
A growing number of funders are working to address environmental threats to oceans, rivers, and other bodies of water.
This funding landscape is evolving fast in the face of growing setbacks.
Work to bolster the science, tech, and math skills of young people is drawing more support from funders, including corporations.
After years of neglect, more funders are now paying attention to substance use disorder and addiction.
While it’s challenging to raise money for theater, a number of private foundations and major donors give to support work in this area.
Funders are working to prevent and reduce various forms of violence, including child abuse, gun violence, and more.
Wealthy benefactors dominate visual arts giving. But as this paper explains, a range of other funders are also active in museums and artists.
A brief about philanthropists from the worlds of entertainment and sports in a wide range of causes.
A brief about funders that support nonprofits in the U.S. and abroad dedicated to Jewish culture and causes.
A look at what constitutes grants for social justice and what counts as shifting power away from grantmakers.
Many of today’s biggest philanthropists have made their fortunes in tech. Their fast-growing giving is reshaping the funding landscape.
Donors who have made their fortunes in finance play a growing role in philanthropy, as do banks and other financial institutions.
The region has a huge concentration of wealthy donors and foundations that support a rich ecosystem of nonprofits.
Philanthropy has been on the rise in the Northwest, creating a robust ecosystem of funders that support a range of causes.
Philanthropy is on the rise in the Southwest as more wealthy people turn to giving and private foundations expand their assets and grantmaking.
Southern California is home to a thriving philanthropy ecosystem that includes a wide range of foundations and major donors.