Build Knowledge and Skills

Whether you’re new to philanthropy or looking to deepen your understanding of the world of giving, you’ve come to the right place. At IP, we’ve created two kinds of resources to help our members build their knowledge and expand their skills: Explainers and State of American Philanthropy papers.

Explainers cover the basics of philanthropy. If you’re new to the charitable sector, this is a great place to start getting up to speed. The State of American Philanthropy series is designed to help IP members gain a deeper understanding of key areas of giving. These in-depth papers look at the top funders and nonprofits working on different issues, along with giving trends and insights from fundraisers.


What is a private foundation, exactly? And how do they make decisions? What’s a grant report? What’s the difference between “general operating support” and “project support?” These are just a few of the questions that might be running through your mind if you’re new to the world of philanthropy and fundraising. 

It doesn’t need to be so confusing. 

Inside Philanthropy offers this series of brief “explainers” to introduce you to the basics of philanthropy, defining key terms and elucidating important debates to help you find your way through all the jargon to become a more informed, more effective fundraiser or donor. If you're totally new philanthropy, we suggest you start by first reading our introductory primer, which is the first explainer below.



State of American Philanthropy

The State of American Philanthropy is a series of background papers on trends in U.S. philanthropy. The papers draw on past research and writing by Inside Philanthropy writers, as well as new interviews, grantmaking data, and other sources. In the coming months, IP will be expanding this series as part of our ongoing mission to explain who’s funding what and why—organized by key issues, geographic places, and special topics.