The head of the Hewlett Foundation provides a tour d’horizon of American political dysfunction — and envisions a long and difficult therapy to bring it back to health.
Guests at our January 25 Foundation Impact Research Group seminar were treated to a behind-the-scenes look at 100&Change, a project of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to award a $100 million grant to a single organization or collaboration tackling one of the world’s most challenging problems.
Using only the traditional tactics of standard philanthropy, the Revson Foundation helped New York City’s struggling branch libraries regain support from City Hall and begin rebuilding their crumbling infrastructure.
A recent talk by the president of the Kresge Foundation sheds light on the path by which Detroit emerged from bankruptcy last Friday, and the pivotal role of philanthropy.
Those who doubt foundations’ real appetite for risk make a strong case. But then comes the Kresge Foundation and its efforts to help Detroit survive bankruptcy — a crisis that many people have considered near-hopeless.
A recent paper by Duke graduate student Peter McElroy surveys the literature on the Annenberg Challenge, a huge philanthropic school-reform initiative of the late 1990s, and reflects on whether, why, and how it failed.
Ras Baraka, the winner of this week’s special election for mayor of Newark, New Jersey, staked a big part of his campaign on his opposition to the school-reform effort backed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Under former mayor Cory Booker, who recently decamped to the U.S. Senate, Mr. Zuckerberg’s foundation had poured $100 million into a sweeping attempt to overhaul the city’s public education system. His gift drew an equal amount from other national donors, all deposited in the newly formed Foundation for Newark’s Future.
Several speakers at the Foundation Impact Research Group (FIRG) have observed, at least in passing, that competition among grantees for foundation grant dollars is increasing. But what are competition’s implications for foundations and grantees? At this fall’s conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations (ARNOVA), researchers presented new work that helps illuminate this question.
A while ago, we noted some provocative remarks about strategy and philanthropy by Robert Gallucci, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Speaking at a session of the Foundation Impact Research Group (FIRG), Mr. Gallucci pointed out that some of his foundation’s more interesting and important work is not strategic in nature.
Discussions of strategic philanthropy, with their emphasis on big ideas and root causes, can sometimes treat the implementation of new policies as essentially a tactical matter — important, maybe, but not really strategic. In this guest post, the former director of Strategic Learning and Evaluation for The Atlantic Philanthropies takes on this bias, citing an example of smart philanthropy in Ireland that involves plenty of big ideas, but that puts effective implementation at the center of its strategic agenda.