Operating Archetypes Webinar - Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Foundation: Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Skoll Foundation, California Wellness Foundation

credit: via junkiephoto

Operating Archetypes is a new resource created by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors to help philanthropies and other donors better understand their distinct position in the philanthropy ecosystem. The webinar was moderated by Renee Karibi-Whyte, Senior Vice President of RPA. A Talent Agency is in the business of spotting emerging leaders, often using open competitions to get new ideas into the field. An Underwriter is an insurance company is an underwriter, although they're kind of close to it. There is no philanthropy that works the way a Talent Agency does, although that would be fun to see.

A Campaign Manager partners with other organizations and often the public sector to try and tackle a very big, complicated problem that needs a lot of players. Think Tanks don't just fund experts in a field, they hire experts and bring them into their enterprise. Field Builders look to fill in gaps where things don't even exist. The California Wellness Foundation's mission is to support health and wellness across the state of California. Georgia's organization Humanize works with sustainability and income generation of vulnerable populations in Brazil.

Richard's top three out Operating Archetypes are Campaign Manager, Field Builder, and Venture Catalyst. I think the power of archetypes is it helps you understand both your intention and what it is that you're doing. It's a combination of things, and all the archetypes bring some angle that you've never thought about as a donor in the ecosystem. Richard and Renee ask Georgia and Melissa about whether their teams are equipped to operate in the archetypal mode of Sower and Designer. Georgia: Net weaving helps us to evolve as a group of systematic thinkers on how to do philanthropy in these tough times.

Many of the people that we spoke to talked about transitioning from one kind of archetype to another, as the field they're working in changes. We are moving into a period at Cal Wellness where we're examining our current strategic framework. It's a strategic planning tool I find really valuable. Are we achieving what we intended? What's happening in response to the way that we're behaving in the world?

And what capacities do we need to build out? Thinking about how you assess your internal capacity is a great opportunity for funders for many reasons. One of the innovations that we've seen in the last 10 years is recognizing what Georgia called soft power: influence, convening capacity, voice. Those require a different set of muscles, and skills may be there, but you may need to work inside your organization to develop those muscles.

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