A group of leaders have come together to create Democracy Northwest, a project to explore what philanthropy can do to strengthen democracy. Through an initial convening, two focus groups, sessions at the Philanthropy Northwest annual conference and other conversations, participants are broadening the conversation, sharing strategies to strengthen democracy, and using democratic practices to strengthen philanthropy in turn. This discovery process generated a range of ideas to further explore and develop. In the action phase of the project, participants will identify the most promising ideas and support further inquiry, create programs, tools, and participate in communities of practice to support them. This document summarizes the main ideas that emerged through the Discovery Phase.
In cities across the nation, a few enjoy rising affluence while many struggle to get by. This situation is created in part by the practices of traditional economic development. Current trends threaten to worsen, unless we can answer the design challenge before us. Can we create an economic system — beginning at the local level — that builds the wealth and prosperity of everyone? The 20 cities profiled in this new Democracy Collaborative report include Portland, Oregon, and Seattle.
How do low-income communities learn to advance economically and build wealth? Low-income communities and communities of color, in challenging structural economic and social inequality, have historically grappled with tensions inherent to development. This report, authored by Keane Bhatt and Steve Dubb, draws on case studies of 11 different community economic development initiatives from across the United States to highlight a diverse set of powerful answers to these critical questions.
In a media environment dominated by stereotypes and special interests, network driven communications strategies powered by grassroots organizing are more vital than ever. These models provide examples of advocacy-focused efforts that could have useful implications for funding collaborative communications strategies and infrastructure in grassroots organizing groups.
The Grantmaking for Community Impact Project demonstrates the tremendous return on grant dollars invested in policy and civic engagement efforts of nonprofits through research conducted in New Mexico, North Carolina, Minnesota, Los Angeles County,
This study by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University investigates how family foundations manage governance, decision making, and, especially, daily work activities when the number of local board members diminishes.
Foundation-government collaborations seem to be on the rise as each sector looks to pool resources with new partners. How can grantmakers take advantage of the benefits while managing the risks of working on terrain that can be unfamiliar to all parties? The guide includes case studies, suggestions for finding changemakers in government, and advice on navigating roles and power dynamics. Government partners chime in with ideas for keeping things running smoothly.