Pennies for Progress

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In 2008, on the eve of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, America’s foundations were doing better than ever. During the economic calamity that followed – as the housing, labor and stock markets collapsed – foundations weathered the storm better than most. Meanwhile, the public these foundations serve was suffering. One might expect foundations, whose charitable dollars escape taxation by virtue of serving the public good, to have increased their support for underserved communities during and after the Great Recession. We found that in the decade that ended in 2013, foundation support for America’s marginalized communities grew just 5 percent as a share of all grantmaking. All this raises the question: Where did the increase in foundation grantmaking – over $6 billion – go if not to benefit the poor, communities of color, immigrants, women and girls, and other underserved communities? Where did that $6 billion go if not to strategies that affect long-term change?

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Content Partner: National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

Content Partner Website

What are the main takeaways or key points from this resource?:

How long will the philanthropic sector watch from the sidelines as progressive social movements combat reactionary forces to reshape American society for the better?

Publication/Event Date:

December 2016

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Ryan Schlegel



Beyond the Grant 
Grantmaking and Changemaking

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