Strengthening Communities

Communities across the country are experiencing rapid demographic shifts, and foundations that use place-based giving strategies must adapt their grantmaking to recognize these changes. This discussion explores the multiple ways foundations define place-based philanthropy, its potential challenges and advantages, and the various approaches to this work.

It’s tough running schools in rural Missouri. Tight budgets, strained resources, and dwindling state and federal funding all conspire against students in the Ozarks region, which is designated by the United States Department of Agriculture as an area of “persistent poverty.”

President Obama unveiled his Fiscal Year 2015 Budget today, which sets forth the Administration’s spending and policy priorities for the coming year. The Budget presents a fiscal plan oriented around three White House priorities: accelerating economic growth, expanding opportunity for all Americans, and reducing deficits. To cover the cost of these proposals, the Administration seeks to close certain “tax loopholes” it views as providing particular benefit to the wealthy, such as the carried interest deduction. At the same time, though, the President again proposes to limit the charitable deduction.

The Community Foundations of Canada’s Vital Signs is an annual community check-up, conducted by community foundations across Canada – and now around the world – that uses data to measure the vitality of our communities. The effort started in the late 1990s at the Toronto Community Foundation (TCF). The Council’s Christopher Goett, caught up with Rahul K. Bhardwaj, President & CEO, Toronto Community Foundation, to discuss TCF’s Vital Signs initiative as part of The Council’s #CF100 series.

The Council is issuing a Call for Sessions to leading civil and social innovators. We are looking to you for well-developed sessions that offer diverse perspectives, concrete solutions, and fresh insights into our Spotlight Issue: The Role of Philanthropy in an Increasingly Polarized Society.

Last fall I joined community foundation leaders from across Canada as part of the Monitor Institute’s What’s Next for Community Philanthropy. At one point during this event, we brainstormed activities that are core to their community foundations. As we clustered our sticky notes, I noted how many times the words Vital Signs appeared and thought about the changes that have emerged in our work over the past decade.