Open Philanthropy aims to promote being as open as possible in the practice of philanthropy –  increasing transparency and inclusion into philanthropic organizations’ decision-making processes. Some ways in which open philanthropy can bring value to an organization is by going beyond opening the grant-making process and advocating for as much transparency as possible to show how investments are prioritized.

The “Open Philanthropy Guide: A guide for inclusive and transparent grantmaking” was produced by New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) in July 2023. NPC is a think-tank focused on social impact, which set out to create an 18 month project that resulted in an Open Philanthropy model centering transparency and inclusivity in philanthropic processes. This project involved researching the field and providing around £570,000 of grants across the UK.

The guide is divided into three main sections:

  • How to create an open process: Establishing an open philanthropy process involves researching the issue, choosing impact goals and engaging the community. 

  • Making the decisions: Decision-making with open philanthropy in mind needs to first clarify what, when, and how decisions will be made. Accessibility and personal preferences should be incorporated into the ways of working since the first meeting. 

  • Understanding your impact: To evaluate the impact of open philanthropy projects,  establish a charter with values, and create measurement, evaluation and learning procedures to improve the project for the next iteration.

In what follows, we summarize a few ideas from the guide that can be useful to other organizations attempting to include an Open Philanthropy model in their activities. 

  • By advocating for an open by default funding model, Open Philanthropy aims for a positive shift to strengthen traditional philanthropy models. 

  • Open Philanthropy advocates for the incorporation of a diverse range of perspectives in the grant making process, facilitating trust and community building. 

  • In short, the Open Philanthropy model seeks to foster collaboration, promote a culture of sharing information openly, and involve a broad range of stakeholders in the decision-making process.

To learn more about NPC’s Open Philanthropy guide read the full guide here.