At River Cohen Philanthropy, we recognize there are serious challenges currently facing society, and we continue to believe that philanthropists have a responsibility to address these challenges in any way possible. As an organization, we also recognize the importance of inspiring others to become more involved in philanthropic efforts as well, which is part of the reason we have long advocated for an approach revolving around varied forms of economic empowerment, including through the utilization of seed grants.

Seed Grants and the Value of Economic Empowerment

Our continued emphasis on seed grants as well as other forms of economic empowerment remains one of the key reasons our organization has been able to accomplish so much over the course of the past 20 years or so. It is also one of the reasons we have long advocated for expanding the availability of seed grants, and we have witnessed firsthand the efficiency and efficacy of a strategy that empowers those who have a personal stake — and therefore a unique understanding of the core issue — in developing and implementing the kind of innovative, insightful, and effective solutions most likely to naturally arise from one’s own experiences.

Our Philanthropic Beliefs

Obviously, we believe philanthropy is a potent tool for combatting the uniquely complex issues facing society, both in the present and in the future. There are several efficiency-enhancing strategies available to an organization hoping to maximize its overall philanthropic impact, with the most popular strategy being a relatively limited funding focus. These organizations are devoted to supporting a single cause or addressing an individual issue, thereby ensuring the organization’s efforts cannot be “spread too thin.”

While we believe that this is indeed an effective strategy for ensuring an organization’s philanthropic efforts are impactful and meaningful, our organization favors a different approach in which we are able to avoid spreading ourselves too thin despite working to support a variety of different causes addressing a wide range of societal issues. It is for this reason that we focus our efforts on early philanthropic involvement in support of a particular cause, ensuring operational efficiency while also enabling our organization to help others in overcoming the many different obstacles existing throughout society at large.

Our Future Goals

Since our organizational focus has allowed us to accomplish so much throughout our lengthy philanthropic history, we hope our success will continue to inspire others to incorporate similar measures within their own philanthropic organizations. As firm believers in the benefits available through a focus on seed grants and other forms of economic empowerment, we intend to continually advocate for a greater emphasis on the kind of early philanthropic involvement that enables philanthropists to expand the breadth of their organization’s efforts by a significant margin. It is our belief that the pursuit of these future goals will not only enhance the efficacy of our own organization; it is also quite likely to influence the effectiveness of all philanthropic organizations in delivering the greatest possible benefit to the whole of society.