top of page

Supporting Strategies for a Secure Future - High Impact Giving Guide

By Abby Rolland

Every year, the Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP) researches and writes the High Impact Giving Guide about how funders can maximize their impact, and then shares their report on a webinar open to the public. Last year, the report focused on supporting a just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2023 report shared how funders can support strategies for a secure future. These five strategies can help individuals meet the challenges that come their way and can aid communities in thriving once more.

  1. Recover learning lost during the pandemic and accelerate gains.

    1. Students are still feeling the negative effects of school closures. “Remote learning set children back, particularly those in resource-poor settings who didn’t have supports like a place to learn, reliable WiFi, or parents who could stay home and serve as de facto teachers.”

    2. Funders can help by supporting organizations and programs by strengthening “the web of support” that all children need to thrive.

  2. Increase financial security with guaranteed income, savings programs, and jobs.

    1. Giving cash directly is a growing trend in philanthropy. Doing so can result in money reaching people fast and providing flexibility since it has no strings attached.

  3. Address structural inequality so everyone has a fair chance.

    1. Systemic and systematic inequality has been embedded into policies, practices, and systems. Funders have begun to specifically focus on funding equity, inclusion, and access.

    2. To assist funders in evaluating the effectiveness of funding equity, CHIP has developed five dimensions in reviewing a nonprofit’s equity work.

      1. Inclusivity – What is the involvement of intended beneficiaries?

      2. Organizational capacity – What is the organization’s ability to implement, measure, and manage results?

      3. Durability of power – What is the assurance that gains of power amongst underrepresented populations will persist?

      4. Strength of evidence – What is the case for potential success?

      5. Systems-level impact – What is the approach to addressing systems-level barriers

  4. Provide effective disaster relief across all stages.

    1. Research shows that when disasters strike, people often respond generously with their giving. However, much of this giving occurs during or in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, and supports urgent need. Communities need long-term support in order to ensure sustainable recovery. The High Impact Giving Guide encourages funders to support rebuilding and resilience efforts of local communities.

    2. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy is a great resource for funders interested in learning more about how to give for long-term needs after a disaster has struck.

  5. Strengthen democracy.

    1. A number of sources show that democracy is on the decline worldwide (IDEA, Axios). Yet, democracy is essential for ensuring that individuals have a voice in the futures they want.

    2. CHIP points out that there are four elements of a strong democracy: social cohesion, empowered citizens, fair processes, responsive policy, and information & communication.

From the resources that CHIP provides, funders can learn about specific nonprofits – both in the U.S. and globally - making an impact in each of the five areas.

Following the presentation of the strategies, CHIP invited several funders on the webinar to share their thoughts about the findings. What made their comments noteworthy (and how several of harp-weaver’s clients operate) was the emphasis on talking to current and potential grantee partners about what they need. In other words, asking them about what they need to do their work and what their community needs. By deepening their listening, funders are able to respond to their partners’ needs and expand their impact. As one pointed out, “authentic partnership is not one directional.”

Webinar speakers also encouraged funders to collaborate with each other and with other sectors (government, business) in order to address problems and raise greater awareness about them. Philanthropy won’t be able to solve all of society’s issues on its own; instead, funders will need to work with others in order to increase long-term impact.

The CHIP High Impact Giving Guide is an important resource and tool for philanthropy to have. Each report includes both high-level trends and practical steps for funders to take to increase their impact. We look forward to seeing how funders incorporate these lessons into their giving.

For more information on these topics, check out harp-weaver’s reading list for resources on equitable grantmaking. Exponent Philanthropy also has excellent information for you, your family, and/or your foundation about grantmaking for small- or no-staffed funders.


bottom of page