Building Philanthropic and Social Capital: The Work of Community Foundations -  - ebook

Building Philanthropic and Social Capital: The Work of Community Foundations ebook



The book presents the work and development of community foundations in an international perspective. It comprises essays on the history and spread of the community foundation movement, on the role of community foundations in fostering social capital and civic engagement and on key aspects of the day-to-day work of community foundations, such as asset development, donor services and marketing. The book will be of value and interest to community foundation professionals, donors, advisors and all who are interested in community philanthropy. With contributions from Mary Command, Lewis M. Feldstein, Donnell S. Mersereau, Helen Monroe, Eleanor W. Sacks, Thomas H. Sander and Shannon E. St. John.

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Bibliographic information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek
The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at
© 2010 E-Book-Ausgabe (EPUB) © 2nd revised edition 2008
Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung, GüterslohResponsible: Peter WalkenhorstEditor: Peter WalkenhorstProduction editor: Sabine ReimannCover design: Nadine HumannCover photo: Veit Mette, BielefeldTypesetting and print: Hans Kock Buch- und Offsetdruck GmbH, Bielefeld
ISBN : 978-3-86793-233-2

An International Perspective on the History, Development and Characteristics of ...
1. Introduction
2. The Unique Character of Community Foundations
3. Influences on the Dynamic Growth of Community Foundations from the 1990s Onward
4. The Role of Funders, Support Organizations and Associations of Grantmakers ...
5. Historical Origins of Community Foundations in North America: the United ...
6. Community Foundation Development in Europe
7. The Worldwide Appeal of Community Foundations
Community Foundations and Social Capital
1. Introduction
2. Trends in Social Capital
3. Community Foundations
4. How Best Can Community Foundations Build Social Capital?
Community Foundation Asset Development
1. Introduction
2. Asset Development versus Fundraising
3. Philanthropic Venture Capital
4. Venture Capital Donors
5. Philanthropic Donor Funds
6. Growth Through Others
7. Roles and Responsibilities of Board and Staff
8. Successful Asset Building
9. Conclusion
Donor Services: New Philosophy, New Opportunities
1. A New Paradigm
2. Donor Service: What It Really Means
3. Donor Services in Practice
4. Does It Work?
Community Foundation Marketing
1. Introduction
2. Why is Marketing Important for Community Foundations?
3. Five-Step Process
The Authors
During the last two decades the community foundation concept has spread around the globe. Community foundations currently constitute one of the fastest growing forms of organized philanthropy. More and more cities, regions and metropolitan areas worldwide are adopting the idea of a community foundation to promote sustained, community-based philanthropy and to address changing local needs. It is quite likely that this trend will continue in the future.
The widespread shift from longstanding social welfare policies to new forms of public-private partnership is encouraging the globalization of the community foundation concept. Increasingly, the responsibility of national and local governments for the funding and delivery of social services has devolved either to private, for-profit institutions or not-for-profit, civil-society-oriented organizations that operate outside the traditional public and private sectors. These developments, as well as the communications revolution of the past two decades, have prompted a tremendous increase in the number and growth of civil society organizations all over the world-a phenomenon that has been described as a “global associational revolution.”1 Community foundations are part of this “global associational revolution,” and they are at the core of the search for a new balance between the state and civil society. They are strategically positioned to strengthen community capacity by fostering local philanthropy and civic engagement.
The worldwide spread of community foundations also derives from the adaptability of their core ideals across national and cultural borders. Although first invented in the United States, “the community foundation concept is no longer solely an American idea.”2
The idea of a foundation that focuses on local and regional needs and builds a permanent endowment through contributions from a wide range of donors has proven its ability to adjust to various cultural, societal and legal environments. This flexibility and ability to reinvent itself is probably the greatest strength of the community foundation model. Consequently, as the concept continues to proliferate around the world, it will introduce further modifications in response to different societal contexts and cultural traditions.3
In recognition of these global trends, the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation have formed a strategic alliance to promote and facilitate the development of community foundations in Germany and Europe. Bertelsmann, with support and advice from Mott, has created the Transatlantic Community Foundation Network (TCFN), to support the exchange of experience and expertise among community foundations and support organizations from Europe, North America, and Mexico and to foster the development of this form of philanthropy in countries where the concept is new.4
This book is a product of the growing collaboration. It intends to provide all those interested in the community foundation model with comprehensive information about this form of philanthropy as well as with concrete guidelines to facilitate the development of this kind of foundation. With the exception of the article by Eleanor W. Sacks, all contributions to this book were first published in 2001 and are reprinted here in their original versions. While the authors have revised data and figures as well as outdated web links and bibliographical information to the degree possible, their articles appear essentially as they were originally published. Only the article by Eleanor W. Sacks has been completely rewritten and updated in order to catch up with the rapid spread of the community foundations concept around the world.
All authors assume the growing importance of community foundations as well as the fact that the current expansion of global capital markets and the intergenerational transfer of wealth offer great promise for the future growth of these unique institutions. Their increasing importance further implies that issues of strategic focus, key competencies and organizational effectiveness will also become more important. However, greater effectiveness will depend in turn upon the foundations’ strengthened capacities. The information in this book aims to contribute to the strengthening of their management capabilities and thereby their ability to fulfill their core mission: building stronger communities through strategic philanthropy.
In this context, the article by Eleanor W. Sacks focuses on the history, development and characteristics of community foundations from an international perspective. As a general introduction to the topic, it provides an overview of the growth of community foundations around the world and analyzes the driving forces that have contributed to this development.
One important aspect of the work of community foundation is that they not only build philanthropic but also “social” capital- a concept that has received increasing attention in recent years from social scientists and policymakers alike. Social capital, understood as “the social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them,” is a vital resource of modern, pluralistic societies.5 Like other natural resources, it is not available in unlimited quantities and therefore needs to be used in a responsible and sustainable way. As Lewis M. Feldstein and Thomas H. Sander point out, by pursuing a variety of different strategies, community foundations can make significant contributions to the preservation and creation of social capital in their communities.
Notwithstanding the importance of building social capital, one of the most important objectives of a community foundation remains the long-term building of a permanent collection of endowed and other funds contributed by a wide range of donors. Helen Monroe identifies key elements of successful asset development, and Shannon E. St. John describes the focus upon services to those donors that has been perhaps the major reason for the extraordinary growth of U.S. and Canadian community foundations in recent decades. Both articles offer practical guidelines and good practice recommendations that may assist other community foundations as they seek to build their endowment, raise other funds and serve donors.
The ultimate success of a community foundation rests to a high degree upon the public acceptance of its activities. Effective community foundation work therefore relies on effective communications. As Mary Command and Donnell S. Mersereau show in their article, marketing has become an important part of community foundation communications. The authors share a five-step process for developing a marketing plan.
As the editor of this book, I wish to express my gratitude to the extraordinary team of authors that contributed to this publication. I am also grateful to the members of the Transatlantic Community Foundation Network, TCFN, whose input helped me to conceptualize this book. My particular thanks go to Martin Lehfeldt for his advice as well as to my colleagues in the Philanthropy and Foundations Division of the Bertelsmann Stiftung for their support and assistance in designing and producing this volume. The responsibility for any mistakes that slipped through in its production are ultimately mine alone. I hope that the second edition of this book continues to contribute to an international dialogue on the role of community foundations and the essentials of their work. Given the continual growth of community foundations worldwide, that kind of dialogue is more important than ever.
Gütersloh, March 2008 Peter Walkenhorst
Bertelsmann Stiftung (ed.), Community Foundations in Civil Society /Bürgerstiftungen in der Zivilgesellschaft, Gütersloh, 1999.
Hero, P. de Courcy and Walkenhorst, P. (eds.), Local Mission - Global Vision. Community Foundations in the 21st Century, New Xork, 2008.
Putnam, R. D., Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, New York, 2000.
Salamon, L. M., Anheier, H. K., and Associates, Civil Society in Comparative Perspective, in: L. M. Salamon, H. K. Anheier, R. List, S. Toepler, S. W. Sokolowski, and Associates, Global Civil Society. Dimensions of the Nonprofit Sector, Baltimore, Md., 1999, pp. 3-39.
Transatlantic Community Foundation Network (TCFN):
An International Perspective on the History, Development and Characteristics of Community Foundations
Eleanor W. Sacks

1. Introduction

In the last several decades, there has been a paradigm shift in how governments go about meeting the social needs of their citizens. Around the world, national governments are retreating from direct responsibility for the funding and delivery of social services. They are privatizing delivery systems, working through intermediaries such as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), devolving decision-making to local authorities, and asking communities to develop their own resources.

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