The Rise of Hacker Philanthropy

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like

hacker philanthropy
/ˈhakər/ fəˈlanTHrəpē/
noun – term used to describe a new generation of philanthropists who are working to solve the world’s most pressing problems

Hacker Blog Pic
Sean Parker speaks onstage during the launch of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.

Based in Oakland, California, FCP is just a short drive away from some of the world’s most forward-thinking and cutting edge companies that call Silicon Valley home.  We hear people talk about being innovative a lot. And I mean a lot. Another bromide firmly embedded in Bay Area zeitgeist is the concept of “hacker culture,” which generally refers to technologist, engineers and inventors working to innovate on our break up the status quo. But lately, in our conversations with clients and reporters, we are hearing a new term come up with increasing frequency: “hacker philanthropy.”

Coined by Facebook investor billionaire Sean Parker, the term “hacker philanthropy” is meant to describe a new kind of philanthropist. Parker recently described the paradigm shift to the Financial Times: “I don’t even see it as giving away money as much as trying to solve a set of social or political problems that are not easily addressable with for-profit companies and investments.” Recently, Parker pledged $250 million to reshape the field of cancer immunology through the new Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.  Similarly, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have pledged up to $1 billion shares of their Facebook stock to advance human potential and promote equality. Others in Parker and Zuckerberg’s cohort like Netflix’s Reed Hastings and Salesforce’s Marc Benioff have made similar pledges of support to some of the world’s most pressing problems.

According to an op-ed by Parker in the Wall Street Journal, “hackers share certain values: an antiestablishment bias, a belief in radical transparency, a nose for sniffing out vulnerabilities in systems, a desire to ‘hack’ complex problems using elegant technological and social solutions, and an almost religious belief in the power of data to aid in solving these problems.” Hacker philanthropists are applying these principals to philanthropy in the hopes of catalyzing more concrete change in the world.


Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like

By: Audrey Baker

April 22, 2016 is the 46th Earth Day! To mark this moment we’ve asked our staff which environmental leaders, organizations and outdoor places inspire us to celebrate our earth. Below are some of our answers.Earth day shosh

Shoshanna’s response: I’m very inspired by 15 year old Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh, a youth climate-activist who is taking on climate change issues through music and performance. I first saw Xiuhtezcatl perform at PowerShift in 2013, where he and his brother awed the audience with the climate-focused music. For me, this young-man is a representation of hope for the next generation. Not to mention, he is from my hometown, Boulder, CO. So we have a deep and an unspoken mountain connection.

Earth Day AB

Audrey’s response: I spent the summers of 2011-2014 in the Sierra Nevada’s at UC Berkeley’s Alumni Camp, the Lair of the Golden Bear. The camp is located in beautiful Pinecrest, California off of Highway 108 in Tuolumne County. The giant pine trees, fields of flowers, Tuolumne Creek, and Pinecrest Lake make for a beautiful and inspiring home away from home. Over the years I’ve noticed changes to the climate of Pinecrest. Several feet of snow used to collect in the winter and would fill up the creek for the summer. However, there is far less snow now, which means the creek has much less water, and is completely dried up by August. Pinecrest is my reminder about the drastic climate changes our earth is going through, and my inspiration to continue to work to preserve our planet.

Navigating an Old School Newspaper Institution – Five Things to Know about Editorial Boards

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in communications, Stuff We Like

newspaper - xl

Within today’s quickly evolving media landscape there are still some institutions haven’t changed much. This is very much the case for newspaper editorials. Editorials are produced by a newspaper’s editorial board, the group of people who set the direction for a newspaper’s opinion pages. These boards evaluate which issues are so important for their readership that they should hear from the newspaper on them. They weigh in on political, health, environmental, and educational issues affecting their community.

A positive editorial from a newspaper on your issue shows third party validation from a respected community voice, and can be an evergreen resource for you to pull out when making your case before community stakeholders, elected officials, or government bodies. An editorial can plant a flag for your issue that you can refer back to again and again when demonstrating why your issue matters or why a particular action is necessary. A positive editorial is unique in that way – no other communications tactic provides such specific affirmation and authority for the community you are trying to reach.

International Women’s Day

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like

Today is International Women’s Day, a celebration of social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. To celebrate International Women’s Day, FCP rounded up some of our most inspirational female figures. These change-makers are a small sample of the incredible women working to make the world a better, more just place for all. #IWD2016



Audrey’s pick: FLOTUS – I’m inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama for being a powerful woman of color. I applaud her efforts to reverse child obesity, balance women in the work force, and encourage arts and arts education, to name a few. Michelle also works to support mentoring programs for young girls, encouraging them to break the glass ceiling.

cecile richards

Caitlin’s pick: As I reflect on women I’m inspired by, the list is long and diverse. However, one of the first inspiring women that came to mind is Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She has been working tirelessly and unflinchingly to protect the rights of women. In a time where there is so much at stake, it is comforting to know there are people like Cecile that are working hard for us to defend our rights as women.


Sarah’s pick: Gabby Giffords dedicated her life to public service as the youngest woman ever elected to the Arizona State Senate and then as a Member of Congress. She stepped down from Congress after she was shot at a community event. Now, she’s raising her voice in the fight for responsible gun policies – an issue that effects women. Women in our country are approximately 11 times more likely to be killed by a gun than women in other high-income countries. I’m inspired both by Gabby’s tenacity in recovering from her injuries and how she’s turned that horrific event into a call for action and change.

Governance and Communications Webinar

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like

On Leap Day, February 29, 2016, Olive Grove and FCP co-presented a dynamic 30-minute free webinar focusing on best communications practices for a productive relationship between an executive team and its board of directors. In case you missed it, here is the link to watch the webinar.

You can also read the 4 blogs below, and follow the hashtag #GovernanceComms on Twitter and Facebook!
 Three-Steps-to-Improve-Nonprofit-Board-Performance how-board-members-can-influence-and-grow-their-nonprofit-executive The-Three-Essential-Roles-of-Board-Members

A huge thank you to the team at Olive Grove and to everyone who participated in the webinar!