Atul Tandon, head of a global advisory firm that works with non-profits and social sector enterprises to maximize their effectiveness and impact, best described the situation which led us to coin this phrase when he said, “Change really begins to happen when a non-profit starts to think
that its mission is, on the one side, to change lives; while on the other side, to change hearts. It’s at this point, when you begin to think of yourself as a bridge – a connector between your [benefactors] and your beneficiaries and cause. Once this happens, you suddenly find yourself not in the role of an activist, but rather, you’ll find yourself in the role of a bridge-builder.”
The concept is centered around providing high-impact programming which blurs the lines between benefactor and beneficiary – something that we’ve coined as Socio-Entrepreneurial Philanthropy! The best way to describe it is to have you think about the following. . .
The activities and content that we, along with our partners & sponsors (i.e., benefactors) provide (Inputs) to our participants (i.e., the beneficiaries), will yield a number of tangible deliverables (Outputs) that are deemed valuable to the participants (growth and development) as well as the community (a locally created art collection to be exhibited – the “DC Ward Story”).
The art that is created, presented, and shared through a series of art exhibitions and galleries (Outcomes) will provide their creators (the young artists) with a sense of confidence and pride, and showcase their works to a diverse audience of viewers and potential buyers. Once their artwork gains attention, we expect members in the community to purchase licensed copies of the youth “masterpieces” to hang in their homes, offices, or public/private venues, and the proceeds from the sales will, in turn, be used to fund additional arts based activities and operations for other young artist (Impact).
In the end, the young program participant, once viewed as the beneficiary, turns out to be the socio-entrepreneurial philanthropist (benefactor) who becomes the catalyst for changing the lives of others like them – a worthy return-on-investment!