“At the end of the day it's not about shiny impact reports”: Nine funders on what they learned in 2021 that will change their work forever

Why It Matters

Social finance and philanthropy leaders hold a lot of power in the social purpose sector. These nine leaders say 2021 brought them lessons that will change the way they work in 2022 and beyond.

In 2021, big questions were asked of the people who mobilize capital for social purpose work.

Questions like: Whose money is this, really? How will you steward it responsibly? How will you move it to communities more quickly? Will you share some — or most, or all — of your power?

These questions changed the worlds of philanthropy and social finance in 2021, even if that just meant planting seeds that will produce fruit in the future. We asked nine changemakers in these sectors to reflect on one big lesson they learned this year, and how it will change the way they approach their work. 


Honesty and transparency are integral

“One big learning for me this year is around being open and honest with all entities, including my team and social purpose organizations, of how we operate as a funder to yield more efficient and effective f

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