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“Break Fake Rules” in philanthropy

Stupski Foundation


Every field has a way of doing things, and those processes might include valid rules but often include what Glen Galaich at Stupski Foundation recognizes as fake rules — practices that philanthropic organizations follow, even if they don’t have to or practices that get in the way of progress. As Glen sought to use his voice to encourage innovation — because change can’t wait in communities that Stupski and other philanthropies serve — Spitfire worked with the foundation to craft the “Break Fake Rules” interview series. 

In each episode of “Break Fake Rules,” which is available in video and audio podcast formats, Glen interviews a philanthropic leader who shares fake rules they are breaking, or trying to break, in their work. Encouraging peers to rebel in a way that works for them, Glen and his interview subjects normalize the idea of doing things differently if the result will be greater support, and greater support now, in the communities where philanthropy seeks to create a meaningful difference. Spitfire collaborated with the foundation to develop this approach to package Glen’s thought leadership, invite additional perspectives and encourage robust conversation — and changes leading to even better work — in the philanthropic sector. 

Fake rules that Stupski has surfaced to date include thinking all foundations should operate in perpetuity, philanthropic dollars belong to the donors, philanthropic boards are best able to determine how to spend their dollars and strategic plans lead to systems change. Check out the podcast here and learn more about the approach on Stupski’s site. And stay tuned for more fake rules that Glen and his guests will surface this year!

Spitfire services employed



Strategic planning

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Issues Covered

Children and Families

Economic Justice/Economic Equity



Racial justice