We can all think of philanthropic giants who have dedicated their immense personal wealth to creating lasting social change. But not all philanthropy is necessarily large scale. Did you know that shoulder lines on roads are the result of Dr. John Dorr’s, an American industrial chemist and philanthropist, relentless campaigning? Dorr noticed that the number of accidents increased significantly at night and during bad weather as drivers hugged the central line on roads. Having tested and proven the effectiveness of shoulder lines in reducing the number of accidents on one highway, Dorr successfully campaigned to get the lines adopted nationally, thereby preserving the lives of countless drivers. Today, shoulder lines have gained universal acceptance.
This, and many other inspiring examples of the power of philanthropy are cited in the UBS Philanthropy Compass, which was made available to the public during this year’s WINGS conference in Istanbul to mark the bank’s ten year anniversary of philanthropy advisory. FSG, with input from Cass Business School, produced this handbook with the UBS Philanthropy Advisory Services. Having been part of the project team back then, it’s exciting for us to see this resource now being made available to every potential philanthropist.
Given the scale of today’s needs, we believe that efforts from actors from all sectors are needed to bring about significant change. Smaller scale philanthropists may not have the resources of government or companies, but they can take bigger risks to prove the effectiveness of new approaches (as the example of John Dorr illustrates) and can often move quicker than large organizations in the face of urgency. That said, achieving measurable social impact is never straight-forward.
This is where the UBS Philanthropy Compass comes in. The guide takes the aspiring practitioner on a quick tour of philanthropy, providing a logical sequence of steps in the philanthropic journey. The handbook is designed as a working tool and discussion starter, and helps leaders find their own answers.
We’re excited about the very positive early reactions the compass has received and highly recommend it to any and every one interested in philanthropy. Hopefully this resource will contribute to extending the list of powerful examples from the philanthropic sector. Here’s to philanthropy.