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Measuring the Growth of the Global Fossil Fuel Divestment and Clean Energy Investment Movement

September 2015

In just a few years, the movement to divest from fossil fuels and invest in clean energy has gone from a series of coordinated campaigns on college campuses to a worldwide effort backed by a wide range of institutions and individuals that collectively represent $2.6 trillion in assets.

Last year, Arabella Advisors published the first objective, third-party analysis of the scope and scale of commitments made as part of the divest-invest movement (see last year’s report). This year, we provide a complete update, documenting the movement’s exponential growth, reviewing its history, and exploring the causes of its expansion.

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Ending the Era of Mass Incarceration: How the Power of 501(c)(4) Spending Propelled California’s Proposition 47

September 2015

The campaign to pass California’s Proposition 47—which enacted sweeping sentencing reforms for people convicted of nonviolent offenses—highlights the influence that 501(c)(4) organizations can have on public policy. This case study explores how 501(c)(4) activities acted as the critical drivers of change, achieving bold reforms and standing as a groundbreaking victory in the movement to end mass incarceration. The case study also highlights the role 501(c)(3) resources played in paving the way for sentencing reform through years of work to educate the public about the high costs of incarceration and alternative approaches to public safety.

Together with the Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation, we also held a webinar to explore this topic in more depth. We welcome you to both download the report and listen to a recording of the webinar.

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Assets in Action: How Catholic Institutions are Using Their Investments to Counter Climate Change

September 2015

Pope Francis has issued a call to action on climate change, prompting praise from concerned citizens worldwide and causing many Catholic organizations to wonder what they can do to help heal the warming planet. Meanwhile, several Catholic organizations have been using their investments to help the climate in creative ways, offering examples that other groups may wish to follow.

This report explores three Catholic organizations’ varying approaches to addressing climate change. It provides an in-depth look at the strategies, tactics, and tools—from divestment to shareholder advocacy—that each institution employs in its effort to advance the clean energy economy in a way that aligns with its mission.

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Advancing Advocacy Through Communications Grant Making

June 2015

This webinar explored how funders can go beyond grant making to support communications and engagement strategies that drive effective advocacy and fast-track policy change. Arabella Managing Director Shelley Whelpton led a discussion during which panelists shared stories and best practices on how funders can support digital and communications strategies to generate public and political will for policy change.

This webinar features:

  • Shelley Whelpton, Managing Director, Arabella Advisors
  • Vince Stehle, Executive Director, Media Impact Funders
  • Mary Lou Fulton, Senior Program Manager, The California Endowment
  • Michael Slaby, Managing Partner, Timshel

View and listen to the entire conversation to learn more.

View this Webinar

Going Beyond Grantmaking: Using External Help to Extend a Foundation’s Core Competencies and Increase Its Impact

May 2015

The drive to achieve impact beyond grant making represents a paradigm shift in the way foundations seek to make social change. By bringing to bear new resources and thinking, this shift has the potential to amplify the impact of the philanthropic sector. Consultants and other intermediaries have critical roles to play in extending and enhancing this impact.

In an article in the spring 2015 edition of the Foundation Review, three leaders at Arabella—Gwen Walden, Lauren Marra, and Katrina Briddell—explore the opportunities and challenges inherent in foundations’ efforts to go beyond grant making. They examine how foundations can—and cannot—effectively use consultants and other intermediaries to enhance such efforts. The article presents three cases: incubating and launching a new organization; effectively deploying impact investments; and collaborating to advocate for policy change.

Using these cases and other experience as a reference base, the article then identifies five ways funders can use consultants and other intermediaries to pursue impact beyond grant making, and explores several common pitfalls.

Download the full article