By Chris Cardona (Ford Foundation), Hilary Pennington (Ford Foundation), & Paul Shoemaker (Social Venture Partners)
For all the growth in cross-sector collaboration over the past decade, one fact remains distressingly true: Individual philanthropists and institutional foundations don’t learn from each other nearly as much as they should. The reasons for this are many: different languages, different priorities, lack of a natural meeting ground. But ultimately, these aren’t reasons, they’re excuses like that song by War from the 70s goes, why can’t we be friends?
To address this gap in the sector, Social Venture Partners (SVP) and the Ford Foundation convened a group of SVP Partners (major individual donors), from eight SVP chapters across the United States, who had a joint interest in education and systems change. We came away from the day with the understanding that despite some enduring differences, our perspectives and work are a lot closer than we thought. And to us, this is good news for the sector.