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Eric Kessler
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Eric Kessler is the founder and a Senior Managing Director of Arabella Advisors, a social venture firm dedicated to making philanthropy more effective. He has worked with foundations and individual philanthropists across the country to build effective grant making strategies, conduct evaluations of their grantees, improve their administration efficiency and manage projects on issues ranging from environment to education to global health, many of which involve a public policy and political advocacy component.

Eric also founded and serves as president of the New Venture Fund, an innovative, independent 501(c)(3) organization that coordinates donor collaboratives, serves as a global grant-making intermediary, and provides fiscal sponsorship to new project ideas inspired by philanthropists and foundations. He is also a co-founder of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and sits on the Boards of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, and the James Beard Foundation.

Earlier in his career, Eric worked in politics with the League of Conservation Voters, as an appointee in the Clinton Administration and promoting democractic reforms overseas with the National Democratic Institute.

Entries by Eric Kessler

A First-Hand Look at Juvenile Justice Reform

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 1:18 PM

When my colleagues and I arrived at New Beginnings, DC's youth development facility, I immediately noticed the lush quadrangle that connects the center's numerous buildings -- an image more closely associated with a college campus than a youth prison. A colorful mural painted by one of the residents lined the...

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To Get Beyond Two Percent, We Have to Go Beyond Giving

(2) Comments | Posted September 21, 2013 | 3:17 PM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

Two percent isn't going to do it. That's the basic insight at the heart of Dan Pallotta's argument.

Charitable giving has been stuck at...

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Cut the Hooptedoodle and Other Lessons I Learned from Elmore Leonard

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2013 | 4:43 PM

Progress -- social, political, or environmental -- depends on the exchange of ideas and information across all sorts of internal and external boundaries. To advance social missions in particular, we need clear, concise, persuasive writing, and plenty of effective storytelling. Yet far too often we're boring, sappy, or uninspiring --...

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Recipes for Health, Nutrition and Sustainability

(0) Comments | Posted October 23, 2012 | 1:31 PM

At last week's Food Conference in New York City, hosted by the James Beard Foundation,* top chefs, food industry leaders, food movement advocates and philanthropists explored the issue of trust in our food. Calls for more transparency and better science on everything from genetically modified foods to the effect of...

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Philanthropists Need to Play Politics

(0) Comments | Posted September 11, 2012 | 12:43 PM

A foundation leader recently invited me to join a discussion about the negative impact of money on politics. For me, scarier than that impact is the idea of funders talking about how to change the system while not working within it to pursue their philanthropic goals.

Money has had...

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