This article argues that people are the primary asset that drives performance in the social sector, but that despite their importance they are undersupported. Funders could make major strides in their own effectiveness and in the performance of their grantees by explicitly investing in grantee talent and talent-support systems. Such support could build a critical mass of diverse leadership in society and dramatically improve the ability of the social sector to advance social change.
The first part of this article reframes the talent challenge facing the nonprofit sector, highlighting urgent issues and chronic structural flaws. The second part proposes the Talent Philanthropy Framework as a means to address this challenge.