To the Haas Institute Strategic Philanthropy is philanthropy that creates big structural changes that can create structural inclusion—rather than exclusion. The goal of philanthropic giving is often motivated by attempts to alleviate conditions of suffering and abuse. Philanthropy that fuses with targeted universalism becomes strategic—it targets creation of structures that sustain equity and strengthen it.
In the context of increasing needs and the shrinking public dollars associated with austerity, the private sector, notably philanthropy, has become a force underwriting emerging demands. Private dollars can simply not replace government funding, and there is a need to make philanthropy make strategic use of its dollars to leverage structural change. By bringing targeted universalism into the philanthropic institution and institutionalizing its power to organize strategy and resource sharing, there is great promise for making greatest impact for greater change.