Strategic Framework

In fall 2011, with the full backing of our board, we began an in-depth strategic planning process. At the time, we were the Association of Small Foundations, a vibrant organization examining how it might evolve. Our goal was to build a framework that would propel us in the right directions and allow us to respond to a changing world.

To facilitate the strategic planning process, we assembled a committee of highly engaged volunteers, all committed to approaching the process with their eyes, ears, and minds open. We reviewed the philanthropy landscape and our place in it, the challenges facing our members, and how we were responding to these needs. The committee extended its reach by seeking input from current and former members, colleagues, financial partners, and field leaders. Additionally, well over 500 current members responded to an online survey.

We were encouraged by what our members appreciate about us, including:

  • The level of professionalism and member support
  • The relevance of our content to the work of philanthropists with few or no staff
  • The accessibility and responsiveness of our team in addressing day-to-day needs

Exponent Philanthropy’s Strategic Framework—a clear path forward

The resulting strategic framework identifies our strategy to support and inspire those who choose to give with few or no staff by engaging them in new and powerful ways. Specifically, we pursue three lines of work:

  • Guide, representing our commitment to creating and sharing the knowledge you need to excel in all phases of your work.
  • Connect, reflecting our pledge to foster rich connections between you and fellow members, our staff, and trends that influence your giving.
  • Champion, demonstrating our passion for documenting, sharing, and celebrating your incredible work and that of your colleagues.

The strategic planning process also suggested a more powerful way to define our members. Although we traditionally defined members in quantitative terms—philanthropists with few or no staff—our members may be more aptly described in qualitative terms: agile, responsive, close to the ground, passionate, personal. And we recognized the opportunity to support all philanthropists who share these traits, regardless of the vehicles through which they give.

For more information, please contact me or any member of our leadership team.

Henry Berman

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