Helping philanthropists maximise the social impact of their gifts and investments
Foundations and philanthropists are increasing their expectations of social outcomes from the funding support they provide to ensure the maximum benefit accrues to society from their contributions. There is an evolution from traditional philanthropy and grant-giving to more focused, engaged, long-term and strategic investing. Venture and catalytic philanthropists can make a decisive difference by bringing people together to collaborate, backing talented social innovators and entrepreneurs, and providing the risk capital for learning and discovery that governments cannot.
A new breed of philanthropists are not just data-informed, but are systems thinkers and investors. Knowledge Society has been at the forefront of this revolution. We help foundations, individual philanthropists and coalitions work at scale to change the lives of the vulnerable. Our work ranges from creating strategies for philanthropic foundations to program design and development to achieve major social change. We bring our Guiding Principles and unique process to each domain we work in. If you are a philanthropist or leader of a foundation and seek to maximise the impact of the money you steward, speak to us.
‘Knowledge Society possess a unique combination of philosophical grounding, policy insight and the science of social impact. They have been a flexible and trusted partner in our work to reimagine how our foundation can make a difference to current and future generations.’
To understand the problem, we go beyond received wisdom
Before planning or proposing anything, we seek to gain a thorough strategic, philosophic, historic and economic understanding of your problem or opportunity. There’s no use trying to change how your staff behave, for example, if their incentives are wrong; and there’s no point creating a strategy that is destined to repeat mistakes that have been made before. Our multidisciplinary team of economists, strategists and designers can help you return to first principles to discern a way forward.
We seek empirical knowledge and learn from the evidence
Knowledge Society curates the most useful knowledge in your domain or industry, building connections with global experts and immersing ourselves in your context. We aim high, bringing our clients face-to-face with the global frontier in their sector or discipline so that they can look to the best and aspire to match their standards.
We understand the human side of things by gaining empathy
Secondary analysis is not enough. To create meaningful solutions that actually work, we use design thinking to gain a deep understanding of the needs and motivations of your customers, users, staff or stakeholders. We use empathetic research techniques to dive into the lived experience of the people who matter, uncovering insights that inspire human-centred solutions.
We design a solution that fits
Using what we have learned about your context, problem and people, we create a fit-for-purpose solution. Our method and scope depends on your circumstances. We might help you create something new – a service, product, initiative or business – or help you renew your organisation by redesigning its internal elements, helping staff build new skills or making sure major changes are managed properly.
We remove the risk from our work through testing
Implementing solutions or new ideas without testing the assumptions on which they are based is a high-risk approach to creating value. We make ideas tangible as quickly and cheaply as possible so that users and customers can experience and interact with them. What we learn from these interactions shapes more effective, desirable, feasible and viable solutions. Through this process, we name and solve disagreements and eliminate ambiguity, resulting in consulting ‘deliverables’ that stick and have value.
We execute our work and improve on it
Knowledge Society is a full-service consultancy, which means we don’t just help you create a strategy, we implement it, too. Working alongside your people, in your location, we can help you execute your change initiative or launch your design solution, continuing to improve it as we go and helping you stay true to the original purpose of the work – even if things change along the way.