Football & Philanthropy

The World Cup is currently streaming in Foundation Center’s break room, with staff from all across the organization hooting and screaming. (No, this is not great for getting work done, but yes, it’s great for bonding and engaging in a little friendly competition!) 

Seeing staff walk around donning colorful jerseys and talking about who they’re rooting for reminds me just how global we are, not just in our staff (who hail from more than a dozen countries) but also in our work (check out So many of the countries represented on the field are also places where we are working on data partnerships, capacity building, or research, and nearly all have a philanthropy or social investment story waiting to be discovered.

There’s also a lot to be missed when we work solely in silos. The World Cup reminds us of the power in bringing together countries, athletes, and fans to keep the sport alive, improving, and engaging. It is without a doubt very important, and often more efficient, to do focused, localized work most of the time—teams disappear, training and sharpening their skills—but when we leave our silos, there is so much to be gained. As a field, we have much to learn from one another and while I don’t expect us philanthropoids to start kicking around a football, I do hope you challenge each other to collectively improve practice, and build strong relationships. 

Foundation Center is a world in itself—our staff are constantly working on a multitude of projects that tap into all corners of the social sector. To help keep our staff across the country as well as our users updated with all the things we are up to, I post monthly updates to Philanthropy News Digest. Check them to stay connected with the latest happenings in our organization. 

This letter originally appeared in last week's GrantCraft newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter and special alerts, register for free.

About the author(s)

Director of Stakeholder Engagement