HIM Four Philanthropic Plays

Direct Services 3-5 years Strengths: Lower risk since generally less complex;
ften addresses immediate need; specific client/ beneficiary outcomes are relatively easier to measure
Limitations: Doesn’t change underlying conditions or causes
System 5 years + Strengths: Potential for more sustainable change
Capacity Building
Limitations: Higher investment risk/uncertainty of results due to greater complexity (e.g. more players with potentially competing interests and incentives); progress can be harder to measure and attribute to any one funder’s work
Policy/Advocacy 1-10 years + Strengths: Can leverage resources of other stakeholders (e.g. government and business) in ways that lead to more widespread and sustainable change
Limitations: Higher investment risk/uncertainty of results including potential reputational/political risk; progress harder to measure
Research/Innovation 5-10 years + Strengths: Breakthrough could lead to widespread change over the long term
Limitations: Higher investment risk/uncertainty – i.e. money and time spent learning only what doesn’t work

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