Greater Good Blog

Inside Philanthropy Looks Inside Arabella

Inside Philanthropy Looks Inside Arabella

Earlier this week, Inside Philanthropy published a new article by Philip Rojc, “Big Builds: A Look Inside Arabella Advisors.” Part of an ongoing series on philanthropic advisory firms and intermediaries, the article notes that philanthropy is “getting more dynamic as donors seek greater sophistication, broader impact, and bolder engagement on public policy issues.” It then looks inside Arabella.

Drawing on documentary research—as well as interviews with Arabella’s CEO, Sampriti Ganguli, its founder, Eric Kessler, and a handful of Arabella clients and partners—the article makes several key points, including the following five:

  1. “From the start, Kessler’s vision for Arabella was to create a client-driven firm offering the widest range of services under one roof. That differentiates it from advisory organizations and intermediaries focused on a narrow range of services, particular ideological positions, or a specific geographic region.”
  2. “Since 2005, Arabella has expanded its services in a dizzying way—grants management, advocacy, governance, impact investing, you name it. It’s less strictly an intermediary (although it does play that role) and more an advisory jack-of-all-trades.”
  3. Beyond its impressive numbers and copious offerings, what makes Arabella interesting is what it’s doing to build and shape the field. ‘In a philanthropy world that talks a lot about big bets, we do the big builds. We find that the field needs support in going from idea to impact,’ said CEO Sampriti Ganguli.”
  4. “When Arabella talks about “big builds,” its fiscal sponsorship work certainly fits the bill. But so do many of the other advisory services it provides, including advising donors about how they can best achieve their goals around advocacy, impact investing and collaboration.”
  5. “Whether it’s providing back-office support or playing a more frontal role, Arabella’s fingerprints are all over any number of philanthropic projects … The firm is best understood as one of the sector’s top workhorses.”

To read the full article, go here.

Back to Blog