In the last ten years, contests have increasingly become a tool that philanthropy uses to surface and invest in social change, whether through pitch events,“shark tanks,” or other prizecontest and competition formats. Contest philanthropy has gained its fair share of supporters and critics in this time - most recently brought to light through a public debate around a Council on Foundations event featuring a nonprofit pitch competition, an event that was later reconfigured into a panel discussion about this philanthropic practice. The resultant commentary surfaced a myriad of perspectives about the role and appropriateness of this newer tool in a philanthropist’s toolbox.
At this EPIP Breakfast Discussion, wewill explore two articles whose authors examine contest philanthropy from two varying perspectives. Recognizing that a multitude of perspectives exist on this topic amongst EPIP members, we look forward to a rich discussion!
As a group we will examine:
- What are some of the driving forces and philosophical perspectives behind philanthropy’s use of contests?
- What lessons can we take from contest philanthropy’s supporters and critics to benefit our own work?
- Nonprofit Quarterly: Contest Philanthropy at the Council on Foundations: A Troubling Dynamic, by: Rick Cohen
- Chronicle of Philanthropy op-ed: Controversy Over Grant-Maker Competition Exposed Divide Over Role of Markets, by: Allyson Burns and Sheila Herrling
75 Arlington St
Boston, MA 02116
Google map and directions