With over $550 billion dollars in assets and contributions exceeding $36 billion/year, private charitable foundations are a source of concentrated social and political influence in American society. Despite the fact that their giving only represents 12.6% of the $295 billion given last year to charitable causes, many believe that foundations exert a disproportionately large degree of influence on the political and social development of our country due to their institutional approach to grant making and multi-year commitment to specific issues and approaches. Through this course, students will gain an understanding of the roles and influence (positive and negative) of philanthropy on political advocacy and social change movements in the US; the scope and diversity of the philanthropic sector; political advocacy approaches and social movements; and examples of current philanthropic involvement in advocacy and social change efforts across the political spectrum. The course closes with a 1-month grantmaking practicum where students will distribute $10,000 in funding to small grassroots organizing groups in NYC working with the North Star Fund and Sunshine Lade Foundation.
A new report applies a theory of time and value in philanthropy to three real cases, to see how a foundation could decide whether to operate with a limited life, based on the amount and kind of value it hopes to create.