The Bridgespan Group

Give Smart Content Library

Getting real, lasting results from your philanthropic giving requires planning, strategy, realism and partnership. Whether you're new to philanthropy or farther along, Give Smart can help guide you in your philanthropic journey.



  • Starting Your Philanthropic Journey

    Every philanthropic journey is different. Learning about the three broad stages of a philanthropic journey, including which activities are appropriate at each stage, can help you get even better results from your giving.

Monday Morning Checklists

How can you tell whether you’ve wrestled with a philanthropic question sufficiently to move on? If you can check many of these markers off your Monday morning to-do list, then you’re probably well on your way to giving smart!

Frequently Asked Questions About Philanthropy

I'm Not Rockefeller: 33 High Net Worth Philanthropists Discuss Their Approach to Giving

The Center for High-Impact Philanthropy

Donors rely on peers for information, view evaluation negatively, and struggle to end established grantee relationships.



Donor Decision Tool: Your Customized Guide to Researching a Nonprofit

What is the best way to research a nonprofit organization you’re considering funding? Click the above link for a 10-question diagnostic that will give you a tailored research plan, or go straight to one of the documents below.

At a Glance: Worksheet and Tracking

General Research into a Potential Grantee

Closer Looks into a Nonprofit's Strategy and Results

Closer Looks into a Nonprofit's Leadership

Closer Looks into a Nonprofit's Financials

A Closer Look into a Nonprofit's Organization and Operations



  • Finding Your Philanthropy Compass

    Navigate to more effective philanthropy. Our toolkit is for philanthropists who are getting serious about their philanthropy: ramping up, becoming more intentional, becoming more strategic.

  • Clarifying Your Aspirations

    Although many worthy causes exist, you only have limited amounts of time and money to devote to them. Here's how to make hard choices about your focus.

  • Defining Success

    Your personal definition of success will provide much-needed focus to you and everyone supporting your work. Find out which three criteria will help you create a working definition of philanthropic success.

  • Partnering for Results

    Even the wealthiest philanthropists need help in solving society's toughest problems. Find out why you shouldn't go it alone.

  • Getting Better Over Time

    To be a successful philanthropist, you’ll need to make good decisions about how to spend your money, time and influence. Here's advice on how to do just that.

  • More than Money: Executive Summary

    Summary of research conducted by the Center for Effective Philanthropy

    Many donors' efforts to contribute "more than money" has little beneficial impact on grantees.

  • Saying Goodbye: Exiting Grantee Relationships With Care

    Although you may end up giving some grantees more money, you will also, inevitably, have to transition away from others by reducing or ending your support for them. Here's what to think about.

  • Quick Guide to Conducting a Nonprofit Site Visit

    Requesting a site visit often raises expectations on the part of the nonprofit and can be time-consuming and even disruptive, so it is wise to visit only if you are serious about funding the organization. Be aware of the unavoidable dynamics of being a potential funder – the organization will be putting its best foot forward.


Deeper Dives




Start the conversation by leaving a comment:

Rate the Content:

 Security code