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Topic Philanthropy and Social Impact

SIA first emerged in the 1970s in the U.S, as a way to assess the impacts on society of certain development schemes and projects before they go ahead - for example, new roads, industrial facilities, mines, dams, ports, airports, and other infrastructure projects. It has been incorporated since into the formal planning and approval processes in several countries, in order to categorise and assess how major developments may affect populations, groups, and settlements. SIA is often carried out as part of, or in addition to, Environmental Impact Assessment, but it has not yet been as widely adopted as EIA in formal planning systems, often playing a minor role in combined environmental and social assessments. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_impact_assessment


see also:

Social Impact of Nonprofits

Effective Grantmaking and Philanthropy

Funding Advocacy and Lobbying (Grantmaking)


and category

Grantmaking and Funding for more topics




Social impact assessment (SIA) is a methodology to review the social effects of infrastructure projects and other development interventions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_impact_assessment


Philanthropy is the effort or inclination to increase the well-being of humankind, as by charitable aid or donations.


+resources and best practices

TRASI is scheduled to launch officially in the spring of 2010.

The Foundation Center is pleased to announce the beta launch of an online database of Tools and Resources for Assessing Social Impact (TRASI). TRASI contains a comprehensive listing of 150 approaches to measuring and analyzing social impact for programs and investments. Authored by a range of organizations, including social investors, foundations, NGOs, microfinance institutions, and others seeking social change, these resources range from off-the-shelf tools and concrete methodologies to generalized best practices. In consultation with the respective organizations and authors of these resources, we have classified the approaches in TRASI along 18 categories. For a more in-depth look at the categories, please consult the Terms Defined page or hover your mouse over the search terms in the Basic or Advanced Search pages.



PBS: three part series on philanthropy (2.2008):

Philanthropy is a mission, and it is also an industry. In 2005 alone, charitable contributions to nonprofits topped $250 billion. The three part series "A Guide to Giving" explores trends in personal and corporate philanthropy and also examines nonprofit accountability. Additionally, the site includes links to resources on the social impact of philanthropy.

Megan Wentworth

Stanford Social Innovation Review

Click here to download "Leading Boldly: Foundations can move past traditional approaches to create social change through imaginative - and even controversial - leadership" published in 2004 by Ronald A. Heifetz, John V. Kania and Mark R. Kramer:
Marie Deatherage


"Leveraging Philanthropic Investments To Advance Policy Change,"

by Josefina G. Carbonell from Philanthropy and Aging, Volume 31, Number 2. Pages 29–34.


Marie Deatherage


"Counter View to Retrenchment: Applying a Different Bottom Line"

by Ted Smith, Kendall Foundation, and Paul Brainerd, Brainerd Foundation. An excellent short summary of reasons not to reduce or curtail grantmaking when foundation corpuses are negatively affected by tough economic times.


Marie Deatherage


Social Impact section of the Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington website:



2010 Census & Foundations

Getting an accurate census count is important for a couple of reasons:

  • $300 billion in federal dollars, as well as billions of additional state dollars, are apportioned to local communities for health, education, transportation and other programs, based on census data.
  • The reapportionment of legislative seats at the federal, state, and local levels are determined based on census data.
  • Census data can be used for planning purposes, to understand population distribution and needs.

Population Resource Center


Making the 2010 Census Count: A Quick Guide for Foundations
Local and community foundations can play a vital role in promoting a full and accurate census count in the communities they serve.

(word document):


Megan Wentworth


Can philanthropy solve the problems of civil society? / Bruce Sievers.
check out from a library (anywhere): http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/34051871&referer=brief_results
browse 1st fifteen pages in this digital collection:


PhilanTopic: Social Issue Documentaries

October 28, 2009 Kathryn Pyle PhilanTopic

"...more funders are considering whether and how they can connect their priorities to documentary films..."



Caring to Change


A project in collaboration with the Aspen Institute Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation

"Searching for new grantmaking strategies for foundations."

Caring to Change is now in the process of suggesting additional grantmaking strategies based on the interviews and a subsequent critique of these notions by senior and mid-level foundation officials, and others in the nonprofit sector.  C2C soon will issue a Working Paper offering a vision of grantmaking that would yield more profound and enduring benefits, promote greater change, a vision of foundations ever more solidly grounded in American values, and which if fully embraced would have each foundation embody and recapitulate the comprehensive role of organized philanthropy in advancing both its mission and the Common Good.




Social Impact Assessment References:

  • Barrow, C. J. 2000. Social Impact Assessment: an Introduction. London: Arnold.
  • Becker, H and F Vanclay. 2003. The international handbook of SIA. Cheltenham: E Elgar.
  • Becker, H. A., 1997. Social impact assessment : method and experience in Europe, North America and the developing world London : UCL Press
  • Burdge, Rabel J. 2004. The concepts, process and methods of SIA. Middleton, WI: The Social Ecology Press. ISBN 0-941042-35-9.
  • Burdge, Rabel J. 2004. A Community Guide to Social Impact Assessment. Middleton, WI: The Social Ecology Press ISBN 0-941042-17-0.
  • Howitt, Richard 2003. Local and non-specialist participation in impact assessment, in: C.-Q. Liu, Z. Zhao, T. Xiao and J. Guha, Strategic Management of Environmental and Socio-Economic Issues: A Handbook. Guiyang, China, Guizhou Science and Technology Publishing House, 27-36
  • Howitt, R. 2001. Rethinking resource management: justice, sustainability and indigenous peoples. London: Routledge.
  • Kirkpatrick, C. and Lee, N., Editors, 1997. Sustainable development in a developing world: Integrating socioeconomic appraisal and environmental assessment. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Mayoux, L & R. Chambers 2005 Reversing the paradigm: quantification, participatory methods and pro-poor impact assessment. Journal of International Development 17(2) 271-298.
  • Roche, C. 1999. Impact assessment for development agencies. Learning to value change. Oxford: Oxfam
  • Taylor CN, Bryan CH, Goodrich CG. 2004. Social Assessment: theory, process and techniques. Middleton, WI: The Social Ecology Press ISBN 0-941042-37-5.