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What Role Should Philanthropy Play in Local Communities?

This blog post asks, “What obligations — if any — do foundations and new donors have to local communities in which they are based? And what role should they play in addressing rising income inequality?” The authors believe that foundations have some obligation to the places where their donors have lived and built their companies, and that they should also help the least well off.  









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Community Voice in Impact Investing – Webinar

Lisa Richter moderates a lively conversation in this series to share how impact investing organizations serving rural communities are engaging residents and organizations as partners, including through: leadership development community surveys partnerships with grassroots organizations and government member-owned institutions, and technology-driven communications  





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Grantmaking Should Be Grounded in Real Costs

This article explores what needs to be done in order to ensure that effective grantmaking is grounded in understanding the real costs of operating individual nonprofit organizations.  This article was originally published as Pay-What-It-Takes-Philanthropy, published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review in June of 2016.





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Sharpen Your Focus – 5 Questions That Will Improve Your Grantmaking

Giving money away is a complicated business, but Putnam Consulting Group has found a few simple questions that can bring a lot of clarity to the process. The questions are straightforward, but they lead to deep issues that can have a profound impact on the way you direct your grantmaking. As you consider your next initiative, take some time to ask these questions.







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Catalytic Philanthropy

The idea behind catalytic philanthropy can be traced to one of FSG’s very first articles, “Philanthropy’s New Agenda: Creating Value” (Harvard Business Review, 1999). In that piece, they noted that funders have a variety of options—beyond their grant dollars—to create social change. To determine the best interventions and roles for them to play, foundations need to develop clear strategies based on data and well-defined goals.





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New Perspectives on Michigan Community Foundations

How can we understand the activity of Michigan community foundations in the context of their local populations? How have Michigan community foundations changed over time? This report begins to explore answers to these two questions, building on a decade of work by the Council of Michigan Foundations and their annual Community Foundation Data Book to offer new insight into community philanthropy across the state. Combining both longitudinal and contextual population data, this report offers new ways to think about community foundation growth and alternative benchmarks for individual community foundation trustees and executive leaders to use in planning and evaluation.







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Blueprint for a Healthier America

This report, produced by the Trust for America’s Health with support from several foundations including Kresge, calls for a new approach to health which prioritizes improving health and addressing major epidemics in the United States. The report highlights pressing crises and how investments could yield positive returns on investment by adopting proven health strategies, such as substance use prevention, programs to promote physical activity and connecting health and social services.





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Nondiscrimination Policy

This guide discusses how an important step toward inclusiveness is explicitly prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. This guide is intended to help your institution implement a nondiscrimination and equal opportunity employment policy that is inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.





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Healthy Communities of Opportunity: An Equity Blueprint to Address America’s Housing Challenges

This research paper by PolicyLink, with Kresge support, examines how housing and development policies affect economic opportunity and community health, reviews recent trends that have increased housing insecurity, surveys practices that link health and housing opportunity, and suggests a reform agenda for policy changes.





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Policies, Practices, and Programs for Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

This tool is useful for foundation staff, leadership and other members of the philanthropy community who want to take action to advance DEI. It provides a comprehensive scan of existing written and web-based resources from philanthropy and the more general fields of organizational effectiveness and social justice in order to identify existing policies, practices, and tools that can inform and guide philanthropic action.





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Webinar Recap: Getting Out of Our Own Way for Greater Impact

In these demanding times, effective grantmaking is more important than ever. Join Kris Putnam-Walkerly, experienced philanthropy advisor and author of Confident Giving, to surface and break through the bad habits and well-intended follies that stand between our work and greater impact, including: Moving away from scarcity-based approaches to foundation management Cutting out unnecessary complexity and bureaucratic waste, and Reforming processes that unintentionally disrespect our grantees