Exponent Philanthropy

About Philanthropy Lessons

Philanthropy Lessons is a video series and campaign produced by Exponent Philanthropy, funded by the Fund for Shared Insight, and released in partnership with The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Together, to help others be more effective and efficient in creating the change they want to see in the world, we are sharing words of wisdom from some of our industry’s most inspirational funders about what they have learned throughout their philanthropic careers.

Unlike in any other business, our fellow funders in this business of philanthropy are not our competitors. They’re our colleagues, mentors, confidantes, champions, and friends. And we need one another to maximize our collective impact.

Presented in an accessible yet thought-provoking format, the Philanthropy Lessons series covers themes that apply across geographies, issues areas, and funder size. The nine-part video series launched in January 2016 with the first two videos, Philanthropy Lessons: The Many Forms of Evaluation and Philanthropy Lessons: How Do You Capture Hope? and will publish new videos monthly through June 2016.

Take these lessons to heart. Learn from those who have gone before—or walk alongside—you. And, most important, embrace the value in learning from one another. After all, isn’t a learning mindset one test of a true leader?

Philanthropy lessons do truly abound in every corner of our country and world. We are grateful and honored for the opportunity to bring many to light.

We invite funders to share your most important philanthropy lessons and join the conversation on social media using hashtag #MyPhilLesson as we work to increase openness in the field and accelerate effective philanthropy.

The Philanthropy Lessons campaign is made possible by the Fund for Shared Insight.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy is the Philanthropy Lessons video series media partner and will help disseminate the videos and report independently on each video theme.

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Thank you to the many Exponent Philanthropy members and their grantees who generously shared their insights for this series: 


Alan Fox, Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation
Amika Dayal, Tarsadia Foundation
Annie Hernandez, Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation
Bernadette Glenn, WHH Foundation
Clark McCain, Coleman Foundation
Daveen Fox, Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation
Debra Jacobs, The Patterson Foundation
Irene Phelps, The Siragusa Foundation
Jessica Gonzalez, Allegany Franciscan Ministries
Joëlle Allen, Peacock Foundation, Inc.
Kylie Semel, Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation
Liam Fox, Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation
Lisa Parker, Lawrence Welk Family Foundation
Lucy Cantwell, New Belgium Family Foundation
Mary Sobecki, Needmor Fund
Marty Fluharty, The Americana Foundation
Michael Hennessy, Coleman Foundation
Miguel Milanes, Allegany Franciscan Ministries
Rajasvini Bhansali, International Development Exchange (IDEX)
Rob DiLeonardi, VNA Foundation
Sammy Politziner, Arbor Brothers
Scott Gelzer, Brandon Gelzer Memorial Fund
Sharmila Rao Thakkar, The Siragusa Foundation
Shirish Dayal, Tarsadia Foundation
Sister Jo Streva, OSF, Allegany Franciscan Ministries
Suzanne Skees, Skees Family Foundation
Sylia Obagi, Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation


Amber Mace, The California Council on Science and Technology
Brent McLaughlin, Branches Florida
Father Dave Kelly, C.PP.S, Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation
George Goehl, National People’s Action
Gretchen Beesing, Catalyst Miami
Joe Montgomery, Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation
Kim Torres, Branches Florida
Michelle Christie, No Limits for Deaf Children
Milvian Aspuac, Asociación Femenina para el Desarrollo de Sacatepéquez (Women’s Association for the Development of Sacatepéquez)
Neli Vazquez Rowland, A Safe Haven
Robert Santana, Boys and Girls Club of Santa Ana
Susan Kaufman, Clearbrook
Sister Donna Liette, C.PP.S, Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation