RSF Social Finance Releases Philanthropy White Paper

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RSF Social Finance Releases Philanthropy White Paper

Shared Gifting: Transforming the Dynamics of Philanthropy
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New RSF paper asks: What would philanthropy look like if non-profits were encouraged to collaborate, not compete?

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Monday, November 5, 2012 - 11:00am

CONTENT: Press Release

November 5, 2012 / 3BL Media/ - RSF Social Finance, a leading financial services organization providing capital to innovative social enterprises, announced today that it is releasing its white paper, “Shared Gifting: Transforming the Dynamics of Philanthropy.” This paper, authored by Kelley Buhles, RSF Senior Program Manager of Philanthropic Services, examines the current state of philanthropy and proposes a new collaborative approach to grant making.

Buhles explores the historical and social context that has shaped philanthropy in America and examines the roots of the current structures and dynamics in order to understand why they exist and what impact they have had on the effectiveness of the field.

The paper also introduces a new approach to grant making that creates community and fosters collaboration, one that reflects both ancestral gifting practice and new economic and social structures. This approach, called Shared Gifting, brings grantees together to share a pool of money and gives them the power to distribute the funds among each other based upon shared understanding. RSF hosted its first round of Shared Gifting in San Francisco in 2011 as a direct philanthropic services program. Since 1998, RSF has managed the innovative Mid-States Shared Gifting Program which serves the central region of the U.S.

“When I share the concept of Shared Gifting with peers in philanthropy, I’m often met with disbelief and skepticism,” says Buhles. “The reaction made me curious about the assumptions present in the field. This paper is an exploration into how those assumptions and practices might be transformed.”

Click here to download the white paper

To learn more about Shared Gifting at RSF visit

About RSF Social Finance –

RSF Social Finance is a financial services organization dedicated to transforming the way the world works with money. RSF offers investing, lending, and giving services that generate positive social and environmental impact while fostering community and collaboration among participants. Our growing community of clients is furthering the work of social entrepreneurs in the fields of Food & Agriculture, Education & the Arts, and Ecological Stewardship. Building the field of social finance through community-based economic practices and a productive ecosystem of social finance partners is part of our work toward a human centered culture of finance. Since 1984, RSF has made over $275 million in loans and over $100 million in grants to non-profit and for-profit social enterprises.


Kelley Buhles
+1 (415) 561-6152
RSF Social Finance
Jillian McCoy
+1 (415) 561-6156
RSF Social Finance