No Time for Complacency: Preparing Foundations for a More Turbulent Future

Leaders in every sector are struggling to plan for a future in which social, digital, political and economic forces create unpredictable change quicker than ever – and the philanthropic field is no exception. To survive and thrive in this turbulent environment, philanthropic leaders must learn to read early signs of imminent upheaval, adapt their organizations in time and take advantage of new opportunities.

In this report, Paul J. H. Schoemaker and George S. Day, research faculty at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Sam Gill, Vice President of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, examine the ability of foundations to detect and respond to early signals of threats and opportunities. They surveyed 93 leaders from a wide range of foundations and corporate charities to compare their findings to best practices of global corporations and credit unions, as another nonprofit domain.

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