Our Philosophy

A different model for a challenging time in our profession

Philanthropy is the noblest of professions when practiced nobly. Our work entails taking important walks with benefactors as they write their moral biographies. At its essence we are invited into philanthropists’ lives, their “inner landscapes,” core values and their highest hopes, as they consider investments for the benefit of others, communities and indeed the planet itself. This important work requires a refocusing on the “why we do the work we do”, a paradigm shift based more upon qualitative relationship-based metrics rather than merely quantitative metrics such as dollars raised in the context of a 12 month calendar. We were born to do this work, and precisely why Appreciative Philanthropy was founded. Join us in this new philanthropic renaissance.

A new approach to old values

Our mission is to move organizations, philanthropists and fundraising teams to a benefactor-centric, values-based, inquiry-driven approach to philanthropy. The results of adopting this model can be found in longer tenures of development staff with an institution, a culture based on joy and bigger ideas, a new more respectful engagement with philanthropists, and measurable differences in philanthropic bottom lines driven by inspiring gifts of significance.

How we do what we do in relational-based philanthropy

A shift from pure dollar-driven metrics to a more qualitative relationship-based metric system is easier said than done. It requires a relentless focus on core values within the department’s culture and embodies a deep respect for what moves and motivates philanthropists.

  • We offer onsite consulting on how to create silo busting big ideas for your organization. We believe in, thinking big, starting small and moving fast in an environment of innovation. We will stand shoulder to shoulder with advancement and institutional leadership to create a compelling narrative for your organization.
  • How to change the office culture from one of scarcity driven and competitive to one of abundance-centered collaboration. Once you get the culture right the rest is easy.
  • Coaching institutional leadership means reducing the fear and anxiety around fundraising. How to anchor institutional leaders on big compelling ideas based on clear and consistent strategies.
  • This changes everything. How quality-based metrics translate into action on Monday. How to shift the way you lead and manage a relationship-based practice of philanthropy. How does this alter the way we hire, onboard, train and evaluate the new development officer?
  • Creating big and compelling ideas for your organization requires a disciplined approach to ideation. We teach how to mine your organization for creative and innovative minded staff. We focus on frameworks, larger narratives and the scaffolding that will inspire institutional leaders and philanthropists.
  • We bring design thinking and creativity to proposal development. We believe that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to write a 30 page proposal, it takes an artist to create inspiring narratives in one compelling visual and 3 or less pages of narrative.

What we offer

  • Consulting

    From ideation and strategy to compelling proposal design and benefactor engagement tactics.

  • Coaching

    Coaching and mentoring of institutional leaders new to philanthropy and fundraising.

  • Training

    Train the Trainer offerings in the art of ideation. How to create big compelling ideas that attract gifts of significance for your organizations.