Many private foundations survive in perpetuity because they give away 5% of their endowment each year. They can do good work in communities for generations because they are conservative stewards of their financial resources. Foundations’ investment teams and operations staff stick with what they know: what worked in the past. The grants these foundations make are important but… could they do more to fulfill their mission?
Imagine if the foundations’ investment portfolios reflected their institutions’ program values. Mission-driven investment strategies and operations practices help ensure that 100% of a foundation’s resources is working toward the mission. Instead, most foundations compartmentalize the different aspects of their work. I think this is analogous to how many people view their lives. Many compartmentalize their daily work from their passion. Work pays the bills. Their passion is left for their free time… or not engaged at all.
EPIP hopes to inspire people to bring their all to every situation. Find a career that engages your passion. Or bring your passion to your current role, whatever it may be. Doing so takes work. You need time to explore your interests, nurture your talents, and test your skills in low-risk environments. Then you’ll be best positioned to bring your whole self to your work. Your experience and training will give you the know-how to integrate your passion with your career. Explore how you can activate 100% of your energy to fulfill your life’s purpose. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and intention. EPIP offers a number of activities and resources to help you begin this journey.
EPIP offers career-exploration, online resources through Member Connect. Become a member. Get a career coach through the Effective Leadership Careers Program. Learn how foundations can live their values by working with women- and minority- owned money managers on Dec 11-12 in NYC. Explore the power of advocacy on Capitol Hill to leverage change through Foundations on the Hill (FOTH). Apply for a scholarship to attend FOTH. Become a thought leader by presenting a session at EPIP’s April 2013 National Conference in Chicago. Leverage relationships with other foundation professionals and social entrepreneurs at EPIP’s 2013 Grantmakers of Color Annual Gathering in San Francisco Jan 30 – Feb 1.
Sure…you’d be fine using your “5%” to do quality work and sustain your current existence. But imagine the possibilities of activating your creativity, passion, and imagination to utilize your other “95%”. Let EPIP help you get there.