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Practical Philanthropy: 5 point plan to discover your signature cause(s)

July 17, 2017

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Philanthropist at Large - Craig Newmark (craigslist founder)

November 22, 2017

 

 

Craig Newmark is perhaps best known for being the founder of craigslist. He’s also a committed philanthropist (read more here). I wanted to dig a bit deeper into his philanthropic journey to discover more about his approach towards his signature causes, the social impact his contribution creates and how he engages with the organisations he chooses to support.

 

[Annie Moon] In choosing your signature causes, do you work to an overall strategy or set of criteria or is it on a case-by-case basis on causes that resonate with you? Please describe what it is about your chosen approach that works for you.

 

[Craig Newmark] It’s simpler than that. My interests are in aiding those who protect the country, like veterans and military families and journalists. They’re also in helping to make sure that people get treated fairly, so I support women in tech and voting rights initiatives, among others.

 

[Annie] What type of input do you have with your signature causes (apart from financial input)?

 

[Craig] In addition to donating funds, I also sit on several advisory boards. TakeThe Poynter Institute for example: I’ve funded the creation of their faculty chair in journalism ethics, and I’m on their board of directors.

 

[Annie] As a philanthropist, are you hands-on or arms’ length? Hands-on could be anything from involvement in the day-to-day work of what the charity does or sitting on the board. Arms’ length is the not-for-profit equivalent to a ‘silent partner’.  

 

[Craig] For the most part, my involvement is from an arm's length, but there are important groups doing good work who aren't so good at communications and PR, and in those cases, I generally get them some help with that.

 

[Annie] What are your philanthropic pain points? How do you overcome these (and what help do you need)?

 

[Craig] Sometimes I need advice around specific philanthropic areas, and in such cases, I find people who know those areas well and ask for their insight.

 

[Annie]  Do you currently measure the social impact of your philanthropic efforts to ensure a good return on investment? 

 

[Craig] At the moment, I don't measure philanthropic success, but I'd like to do so.

 

[Annie] What are your future plans for your philanthropy?

 

[Craig] The causes I support (trustworthy journalism, women in tech, veterans and military families, and voting rights) are making progress but still have a long way to go, so I plan simply to do a lot more of the same.

 

 

Further Reading

 

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Annie Moon, is a consultant helping successful business people and philanthropists to do the 'good stuff' even better, without the pain of wasting resources or financial investment. 25 yrs+ not-for-profit experience and 5 years as a virtual assistant = amazing social impact at your finger tips.

 

#philanthropists #socents #socinv #socimp

 

Craig Newmark image used with Craig Newmark's kind permission.

 

 

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