In the first of our series of articles on our recent More To Wealth event, we discussed Dan Snow’s talk on philanthropy in 19th century Britain and the role of Queen Victoria at that time. In this article we are going to focus on our panel facilitator Melissa Berman. Melissa is the President of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisor and helped to fast forward us from the 19th century to today following Dan’s historical speech.

Melissa began by discussing the influence that Queen Victoria had on the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Founder, John D Rockefeller. John was born in 1837 and died 98 years later. His views of philanthropy were deeply informed by the UK and what Queen Victoria did during her reign. As John D Rockefeller moved into the 20th century, he began looking at things differently to others, Melissa remarked that he focused not just on building individual hospitals but what kind of institutions hospitals should be. Wholesale vs. retail and scientific philanthropic exertions were key focuses of the Rockefeller family, which we would today instead call strategic philanthropy.

Throughout the panel discussion which Melissa facilitated later, she drew upon a series of strategic milestones that the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors use with their clients –

The five key milestones

  1. Why are you giving?
  2. What do you want to achieve?
  3. How do you think change will happen?
  4. How will you assess your progress?
  5. Who will join you?

These five key milestones are a part of the RPA’s Philanthropy Roadmap. The roadmap holds a series of brief guides designed to introduce you to the world of thoughtful, effective philanthropy. This is a roadmap for donors whom may take the form of individuals, couples, families or groups and offer an overview of issues that philanthropists may want to consider, as they create their giving strategies.

More on Melissa and our panel discussion in the next of our series of insights into our More to Wealth event.