Philanthropy 101 with Katherina Rosqueta
Katherina M. Rosqueta is the founding Executive Director of the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania. Before to this, Rosqueta spent five years as a consultant at McKinsey & Company, serving clients in strategy development, capability-building, and post-merger management. While at McKinsey, she led several employee volunteer initiatives to support consultant involvement on nonprofit boards.
Prior to McKinsey, Rosqueta worked for ten years in community development, nonprofit management, and venture philanthropy. She served as a founding team member of New Schools Venture Fund; founding executive director of Board Match Plus, a San Francisco program dedicated to strengthening nonprofit boards; and program manager of Wells Fargo’s Corporate Community Development Group. She has held numerous volunteer and civic leadership positions including board president of La Casa de las Madres (San Francisco’s oldest and largest shelter for battered women and their children); chair of the United Way’s Bay Area Week of Caring; and co-founder and executive committee member of the Women’s MBA Network.
Katherina Rosqueta: Katherina Rosqueta, Executive Director for the Center of High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania.
Question: What is high impact philanthropy?
Katherina Rosqueta: It’s less about a particular organization or a particular activity, it’s about whether or not you’ve given the money in a such a way that you can actually have some confidence that’s it’s going to make the change in the world you want. And that change can be, you know, having another student at risk of dropping out actually being able to graduate on time. That change could be getting an existing cost effective drug for malaria to a child in time that you save that person’s life.
I distinguish between high impact philanthropy and other types of philanthropy because some philanthropy isn’t practiced in such a way that it can assure those kinds of results. And, in fact, many philanthropists don’t necessarily give with the idea of trying to maximize the social good of the philanthropy.
So for those folks who are giving out of a sense of obligation or reciprocal giving. “My buddies on the board, he gave money to my fundraiser so I gave money to his fundraiser.” Or… “I don’t care so much about,” I’m speaking from the point of philanthropist, “I don’t care so much about whether or not I am really maximizing the impact of my gift but I’m really happy that my name’s on that big building.” High impact philanthropy is different from that kind of social or reciprocal philanthropy in that. It’s squarely focused on improving the lives of others.
All philanthropy, especially high impact philanthropy where people are really focusing on results, it starts with a personal commitment. It’s a personal commitment to making a change in the world. And how people got to that commitment is a very unique and personal journey. I don’t think you want to disrupt that journey.
Because one of the things with high impact philanthropy is you have to have a commitment to ongoing learning. There are no silver bullets so you have to be able to care enough about the issue, to learn when you goofed up, and to redirect or add more resources than you thought you needed in order to achieve your good.
And what’s exciting is when a philanthropist says I’m committed to making a change in this area, whatever that area is, once you get to that point, then you say, great, how can you translate that commitment and those good intentions and whatever resources you’re bringing to the table to actually making the difference you want to make? You know, that’s where, hopefully, our work plays, is to translate those good intentions and that commitment to actual impact.
Question: Why do people donate to charity?
Katherina Rosqueta: We do know there are several motivations for why people give. I mean, one of the biggest ones is, simply, they are asked. And so, it’s a reaction or request by somebody who either they have a personal connection to or who’s describing a need that somehow resonates with them.
Other folks give because they see themselves as a member of a particular community. And they feel like they have a responsibility or role in that community as a leader. And philanthropy is one way that they demonstrate that leadership.
There are others who have been motivated because of a particular trigger event. They lost their mom to cancer and because of that personal experience, have become committed to addressing that issue and hopefully alleviating some of the pain and suffering that they experience in their family as a result of mom having cancer.
One thing that was interesting from a study that we conducted, where we interviewed 33 high net worth individual philanthropist, was how much of the information they get around their philanthropy comes from a pretty narrow set of information sources right now. It’s the popular press, the sort of major periodicals. And it’s their friends, their social network, their peer network.
And one of the reasons our center [The Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania] was started is because, if you’re really trying to figure out where your dollars can do the most good, you need some pretty good information to make a smart decision.
We talk about the million dollar question of the kinds of philanthropists we’re trying to help are asking. And that is, “I’m not the kind of guy who wants the name on the building. This isn’t about social philanthropy. This is about my trying to figure out where I can do the most good with the dollars I have.”
Question: What information do philanthropists need?
Katherina Rosqueta: The top issue is, right now, a sense of frustration that they’re not sure whether or not they’re making a difference. And so, what was top on the minds of the folks that we were talking to when we started discussing philanthropy was, how can I have more confidence that I’m actually making a change. And if I’m going to continue doing this, I need to know better that my dollars are actually improving someone’s life. And that’s not only findings from our study but other studies where people have asked the question, what will make you give more? And it was better information on cost and better information on impact. I don’t even think in the top five or ten it was more of a tax benefit.
Question: How involved should philanthropists be?
Katherina Rosqueta: What we do know is that there’s a lot of talk surrounding a kind of generational shift in philanthropy, a set of philanthropists who want and expect more involvement in whatever philanthropic activity they are engaged in. The idea is that if that’s where they’re starting, if there is this desire to be more than just writing the checks, then, I think, what the sector needs to do is figure out how can you leverage those good intentions and, frankly, a lot of talent that could be servicing the mission of the organization. And make sure that that talent, that energy doesn’t go to distracting folks from the mission of the organization or that organizations don’t, somehow, get beholden to the whims of a philanthropist that thinks that this is their pet project.
Question: Will nonprofits be ranked in the future?
Katherina Rosqueta: The problem right now is there isn’t enough good information around the nonprofit’s results in order for you to give a meaningful ranking. So ideally, with a nonprofit, what you want to rank on is their ability to transform their resources into good.
Given the state of the field, what we have are information on certain inputs, like the amount of money that goes into programs. But input is not really what high impact philanthropists or most of these nonprofits care about. This is not about counting the number of dollars you spend, it’s about the other side of the equation, which is given the number of dollars you spent, what results did you see?
I think what you look for in a nonprofit organization is not are they solving the root cause or putting on a band-aid but given what they’re trying to solve, are they doing that well?
Question: What problems do philanthropists and nonprofits face?
Katherina Rosqueta: People seem to forget that with philanthropy, just like with any other decision, there are three things that could happen. One, you could do good. You could have the results you intended. Two, you could throw a lot of resources and not make a wit of difference. Or three, you can actually do harm to the communities that you intended to serve. So the notion of high impact philanthropy is can you approach philanthropy in such a way that you weight the outcome to the first, which is doing as much good as you can.
There’s a study that Bank of America had sponsored a center on philanthropy in Indiana, produce the study, and they looked at what prevented people from giving more. The question may have been phrased, what would cause you to give more than you’re giving? And the top 2 answers were related to cost and impact.
When we did our own study, which was called “I’m Not Rockefeller” because that was actually a remark we got from multiple people, some sentiment like, oh, you’re calling me a philanthropist, that’s not really who I am. Despite the fact, by the way, that they gave, on average, a million dollars a year.
What we found was there’s a great deal of latent philanthropy. So what we heard in the answers to our questions was, frankly, a lot of angst about the fact that they weren’t giving as much as they knew they financially could or as much as they wanted to. So it wasn’t for a lack of good intention. In many cases, they had actually put the money aside, specifically, for philanthropy. And it wasn’t for lack of financial capacity, they had plenty of money there to give, it was for lack of confidence that that money will make a difference. And at least the way they saw the field now, they couldn’t figure out how to get that confidence that they were making good decisions without essentially turning it into a full-time job.
For folks like them, who want to make a difference and who have the financial capacity, is there a way we can get them to smarter decisions faster so that we begin unlocking that capital. And… You know, that is one of the chief challenges that our center [The Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania] is trying to address. By doing some of the legwork for them, doing the due diligence, going blurry eyed reading these academic studies, that we can actually do a lot of homework that will get them to making the smart decision faster.
Question: What can nonprofits learn from private enterprise?
Katherina Rosqueta: One structural difference between the nonprofit and the for-profit sector, is in the for-profit sector, the payer, the person who gives the money to the organization is also the recipient of the good. So you got a nice little virtuous cycle, right?
If you had two lemonade stands and you had, for profit, one stand has great lemonade, one stand has terrible lemonade, the consumer of the lemonade decides and starts giving the money to the good lemonade stand. The bad lemonade stand dies.
In the nonprofit sector, the whole point of their work is they are trying to help individuals and households and communities who don’t have the dollars to spend to help themselves. And so, you don’t have that nice reinforcing loop and that’s one of the reasons why it’s so difficult to have the kind of performance management that you would want to see.
The interesting thing with microfinance, microlending is that it’s got a lot of attention because it is using a market-based activity, lending, where a return is expected in terms of interest, to a social ill, which is poverty. So I think it’s part of a broader trend around looking at kind of hybrid solutions to social issues.
It’s double bottom. These are some of the terms that get floated around, this kind of hybrid approach to doing good, philanthrocapitalism. Double or triple bottom line investing, impact investing.
Those are all ways to think about: Can you apply business/market models or principles to doing good? And I think microfinance is one example of a way that you can.
A conversation with the Executive Director for the Center of High Impact Philanthropy.
What would happen if you tripled the US population? Join Matthew Yglesias and Charles Duhigg at 1pm ET on Monday, September 28.
Controversial physics theory says reality around us behaves like a computer neural network.
- Physicist proposes that the universe behaves like an artificial neural network.
- The scientist's new paper seeks to reconcile classical physics and quantum mechanics.
- The theory claims that natural selection produces both atoms and "observers".
Vanchurin interview:<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="539759cbfd8fcd5b6ebf14a3b597b3f9"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bmyRy2-UhEE?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Vanchurin on “Hidden Phenomena”:<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="18886ffd5e5840bb19d4494212f88d82"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2NDVdNwsHCo?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>Vitaly Vanchurin speaking at the 6th International FQXi Conference, "Mind Matters: Intelligence and Agency in the Physical World." The Foundational Questions...
Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in America with three Michelin stars, joins Big Think Live.
Having been exposed to mavericks in the French culinary world at a young age, three-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn made it her mission to cook in a way that is not only delicious and elegant, but also expressive, memorable, and true to her experience.
43% of people think they can get a sense of someone's personality by their picture.
If you've used a dating app, you'll know the importance of choosing good profile pics.
Whether or not women think beards are sexy has to do with "moral disgust"
- A new study found that women perceive men with facial hair to be more attractive as well as physically and socially dominant.
- Women tend to associate more masculine faces with physical strength, social assertiveness, and formidability.
- Women who display higher levels of "moral disgust," or feelings of repugnance toward taboo behaviors, are more likely to prefer hairy faces.
Beards and perceptions of masculinity<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjU5OTg0MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NzkxMjM3N30.cH-GqNwP5GVqvstgJWAhBPn1B_lYpVEAI0I7iax7EQw/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C1900%2C0%2C849&height=700" id="caae6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="cb0a355a4e8e1899789bc45f3f7aef56" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Photo Credit: Wikimedia<p>The study used 919 American (mostly white) women ages 18-70 who rated 30 pictures of men they were shown with various stages of facial hair growth. The photographs depicted men with faces that had been digitally altered to look more feminine or more masculine, with a beard and without a beard. The women rated the men according to perceived attractiveness for long-term and short-term relationships. The study found that the more facial hair the men had, the higher the men were rated on their attractiveness, particularly for their suitability for a long-term relationship.</p><p>Part of this might be attributed to facial masculinity — i.e. protruding brow ridge, wide cheekbones, thick jawline, and deeply set narrow eyes — which conveys information to a woman about a man's underlying health and formidability. Women tend to associate more masculine faces with physical strength and social assertiveness. It can also indicate a man with a superior immune response. The researchers suggested that their findings favoring bearded men could be due to the fact that facial hair enhances the masculine facial features on a man's face, like creating the illusion of a thicker jaw line. This could communicate direct benefits to women like resources and protection that would enhance survival among mothers and their infants. In other words, while a beard doesn't mean superior genetics in and of itself, it might be a primitive, ornamental way of saying, "Hey girl, I'm a testosterone-fueled lean, mean, pathogen fighting machine." <br></p><p>It could also be that a beard becomes its own destiny. The researchers in this study cite prior research that found that by growing a beard, men felt more masculine and had higher levels of serum testosterone, which was linked to a higher level of social dominance. They also tended to subscribe to more old-school beliefs about gender roles in their relationships with women as compared to men with clean-shaven faces.<span></span><br></p>
What does disgust have to do with beard preference?<p>Obviously, not all women dig beards. The researchers were particularly interested in what traits make a women prefer bearded men over clean-shaven faces. They looked into several factors including a woman's disgust levels on various concepts, her desire to become pregnant, and her exposure to facial hair in her personal life. </p><p>According to the study, women who were not into facial hair were turned-off by potential parasites or other critters they imagined could be in the hair or skin. Women ranking high on this "ectoparasite disgust" scale might have viewed beards as a sign of poor grooming habits. However, women who ranked higher in levels of "pathogen" did find the bearded men to be desirable, possibly because they perceived beards as a signal of good health and immune function. An intriguing discovery in the study was links to morality. Women who displayed higher levels of "moral disgust," or feelings of repugnance toward taboo behaviors, were more likely to prefer hairy faces. The authors opined that this could reflect a link between beardedness, politically conservative outlooks, and traditional views regarding performances of masculinity in heterosexual relationships.</p>
Additional findings<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjU5OTg1My9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNDI1NjUyOX0.P9B8WbmJR0q4nfzYZKbuNSA-2SAigVWJgrQE-_Gxlds/img.gif?width=980" id="49143" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2ed3b1d6f20fc170bf2974646e565e8d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />Giphy<p>The correlations that existed between married and single women's rating on the attractiveness of beards were not particularly clear, although the researchers noted that single and married women who wanted children tended to find beards more attractive than the women who didn't want children. They also found that women with bearded husbands found beards to be more attractive, which might indicate that social exposure to beards influences how desirable they are perceived of as being. Or it could be that men with wives who like beards grow beards.</p><p>It's important to note that culture plays a huge role in how attractive women perceive certain male characteristics as being. This study looked at a small, culturally specific group of American women, so no big, universal claims should be made about masculinity, facial hair, and male desirability to women. However, research like this is important in highlighting how human grooming decisions are driven by much more than fashion trends. Sociobiological, economic, and ecological factors all play a part in the way we choose to present ourselves.</p>
Quarantine rule breakers in 17th-century Italy partied all night – and some clergy condemned the feasting
17th-century outbreaks of plague in Italy reveal both tensions between religious and public health authorities.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, conflicts between religious freedom and public health regulations have been playing out in courts around the world.