Redefining philanthropy: The shifts we are witnessing

As parents, all we want is the best for our kids – that’s how parents everywhere feel. We understand intuitively and deeply that children deserve the very best we can give them. Based in that love and understanding, Michael and I established our foundation nearly two decades ago, and put our focus on supporting programs that further children’s education and help to keep them safe and healthy.

Looking back on our journey, there have been moments of frustration, and also moments of joy. Along the way, we’ve begun to witness the swell of a philanthropic movement greater than our foundation alone. It’s a movement that’s breaking down the boundaries between sectors and geographies, creating openness for innovative ideas and approaches that haven’t been tried before.

This resonates with me, with Michael, and with our incredible team – led by Janet Mountain – because we are problem solvers. We believe that it takes risk, and the right people, to accelerate human opportunity. We’re recognizing that the more vocal we are about our work, the more we share our successes and our failures, the more we can all make the greatest impact possible.

We’re starting this new chapter today, with a live broadcast event, The Dell Perspective: The Future of Philanthropy.

During this event, we’re going to share with you where we came from – but more importantly, where we’re going, together with our partners.

The problems haven’t changed, but the open, collaborative approach to making an impact has.

Over the last few months, we’ve been working to amass all our learnings, framed within new research on current impact trends, into a report called A Philanthropist’s Guide to the Future. The philanthropist of the future embodies the original meaning of the word, which is so simple: Someone who loves humanity. This philanthropist can be anyone – it can be you. Whether you’re looking to get involved in social impact, or to take your work to the next level, we hope that you’ll consider this guide as a resource.

As we look down the road, Michael and I firmly believe that the only way we can make progress on the hard problems we’re tackling is by collaborating with the best partners we can find, by listening to the experts and to the people who live the issues, and by collaborating and trying new, sometimes risky, ideas.

We see that there are needs around the world that are far greater than what we will ever be able to meet. However, that won’t stop our team or our partners from digging deep into the root causes of some of our greatest human challenges. The problems haven’t changed, but the open, collaborative approach to making an impact has.

We’re in it for the long haul. And we’re just getting started.