In this episode we talk to Cassie Robinson, a leading philanthropy thinker, connector and innovator, and formerly Deputy Director of Funding Strategy at the National Lottery Community Fund. We discuss the current state of philanthropy, how it needs to change, and what those working in the field can do to transform it. Including:
-What are the best and worst things about working in institutional philanthropy and being a "philanthropoid"?
-How much power do philanthropoids have to shape the institutions they work in?
– If you were going to design a foundation from scratch, what would it look like?
-For those looking to make an impact on the big challenges facing us today, is philanthropy the best option or are there more effective alternative routes?
-Are the dividing lines between "nonprofit" and other approaches increasingly artificial?
-Should we be thinking less about institutions and more about networks when it comes to the future for philanthropy?
-What can philanthropy learn from fungi…?
-Is there sometimes a risk that in giving away power, it gets lost rather than transferred? Do we therefore also need to think about how funders use their power more effectively?
-What role can art and fiction play in helping to develop "social imagination"? What can philanthropy do to harness this and encourage better foresight and thinking about the future?
-Does institutional philanthropy take enough risks?
- Cassie's personal website
- Cassie on Medium
- More on Joseph Rowntree Foundation's work on social imagination
- Rhod's Medium blog "Language Barriers: why the ways in which we talk about philanthropy & civil society are holding us back"
- Rhod's previous conversation with Cassie for the CAF Giving Thought podcast