Welcome to the Smarter Give blog! The goal of this post is to give you an opportunity to get to know Smarter Give, our thinking, and our experiences. It is also an opportunity for you to raise issues and ask questions you may have about philanthropy. Hopefully, it is a forum for learning and will ultimately help you as a donor amplify your impact potential.

Philanthropy has changed drastically in the last ten years. New models of giving have sprung up—you can now give with the click of a button or look for a monetary return through an impact investment. The issues have evolved—think Gates Foundation revolutionizing the field of global health—but also remain complex and vexing. And, with social enterprises acting under for-profit models, sometimes it’s not even clear where the lines of philanthropy can be drawn.

As the sector has evolved, the burden of giving has become more complex. All too often the old model of giving, by writing a check, no longer works. Often, the sector is now looking towards donors to provide guidance through these complexities. To provide this kind of guidance, donors must have a deeper understanding of the issues, they must be able to navigate more complex organizational structures, and they must become active participants in the sector themselves. As a donor, this new identity and the challenges it brings can be overwhelming particularly when motivation stems from wanting to do good. How does one truly optimize their dollars in this evolving sector to achieve true social impact rather than squandering them?

At Smarter Give, we too are also truly motivated by a sense of wanting to do good. Resources in this sector are limited and we believe that only by optimizing the dollars spent will real change begin to occur. We have seen many examples of donors who were armed with the right knowledge and tools truly make a change in society for the better. We believe that our experience and thinking can help donors to become better equipped to navigate the social sector and have a greater impact. It is our hope and mission to arm donors with knowledge and tools and ultimately to drive change for good.