Philanthropic Advisory Services


Paragon’s advisors have distinguished themselves helping individual donors and foundations implement thoughtful and effective philanthropic initiatives in the international arena. We will work closely with you to:

  • Design a tailored giving strategy
  • Advise on and research areas of interest
  • Conceptualize programs
  • Identify effective nonprofits
  • Measure the impact of giving

Thematic Expertise


Paragon's team is uniquely positioned to help guide strategic international philanthropy. In addition to the United States and Canada, Paragon has a presence in Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Our team members are recognized experts and thought leaders in their fields. Following is a list of our principal areas of focus:


Identifying and Selecting Grantees


Based on your mission, goals, and specific needs, we can help you research and identify the grantees to support. We examine a range of variables to determine whether a potential grantee is a good fit, assess grantee strengths and weaknesses, identify possible red flags, and help ensure your support will prove a good investment. Our customizable scoring system uses criteria such as those listed at right:  

See our case study in grantee selection for a donor interested in supporting disaster response and preparedness initiatives in Malaysia and Vietnam. Download PDF ›

  • Strategy: How do the organization's programs work? What makes their approach different from other approaches? What is the theory of change?
  • Impact of Programs: Can the organization demonstrate immediate and lasting impact from its activities? Does the organization have a system in place to measure and evaluate outcomes and impact?
  • Organization and Operations: Does the organization have a strong financial track record, a clear plan for long-term sustainability, and an ethic of transparency?
  • Leadership: How effective is the executive and management team? In what manner does the board support and contribute?
  • Innovation: Is the organization recognized as a leader or innovator in its field?
  • Reputation: What is the organization's reputation among peers, the public, and its beneficiaries?
  • Local Empowerment & Capacity: Does the program empower its beneficiaries and integrate gender equality and social inclusion principles?

Donor Circles and Donor Briefings


Our team will design and facilitate donor circles, deliver presentations on thematic areas of interest, and provide briefings on international grantmaking and on the giving environment in a specific country.


Site Visits & Guided Site Visits


As desired, site visits are implemented as part of the due diligence or evaluation process. Guided site visits can also be arranged to see firsthand the communities and programs being supported. 


Please contact us to learn more about how we can help you develop or implement your international philanthropic vision.


Selected Clients


The San Francisco Foundation

Whittier Trust

Greater Kansas City Community Foundation

Seattle International Foundation

Legacy Trust

Communities Foundation of Texas

Marin Community Foundation

Greater Houston Community Foundation

The Dallas Foundation