It seems in the world of philanthropy every five years or so a new buzzword or phrase overtakes charitable foundations and other institutional and private funders. During the span of my career we’ve been through efficiency, effectiveness, strategic philanthropy, venture philanthropy, and impact, to name a few. As these concepts build on each other they travel in turn through the nonprofit and philanthropic sector as magic bullet of the day. As in many fields, trends in philanthropy tend to follow a similar trajectory from insightful and powerful to hackneyed and meaningless. The tragedy of this, of course, is that we often underutilize the philanthropic sector’s best ideas in practice even as we overuse them in rhetoric.
Since my intimate involvement in the formation of the Jewish Education Innovation Challenge in 2012 I’ve found myself at the eye of the innovation storm in the world of Jewish day school funding. Are we revving up for another disappointment or are we on the cusp of real, positive, lasting change? The good folks at RAVSAK asked me to share my thoughts with educators in their publication, HaYidion. See the full article here.