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Place-Based Initiatives in the Context of Public Policy and Markets: Moving to Higher Ground

March 15, 2015

This monograph is the culmination of a yearlong inquiry by The Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy at USC into place based work. It includes a 50-year evolution of place-based initiatives and a synthesis of the inquiry's conversations with dozens of the foremost practitioners and scholars in the field, many of whom have spent their entire careers working on major philanthropic initiatives or government efforts addressing geographically-concentrated poverty. Among the insights in the report: poor U.S. neighborhoods are not all the same; a single process will not reverse generations of poverty; and public policy must be "place-conscious." National thought leaders also strongly recommend that in order to be successful, anti-poverty initiatives must be "nested" within larger, mutually reinforcing public policies and connected to the market economy; and philanthropic, corporate, and public resources should be "braided" together to achieve scale and impact. It also includes an important statement about the significance of "place-based" strategy by The Honorable Henry Cisneros, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, along with an illustrative example from Dr. Robert K. Ross President and CEO of the California Endowment, which is in the midst of a ten-year, 14-site, $1 billion place-based campaign in California, and a dozen response essays from a variety of experts across a range of disciplines.

Catalyzing Collaboration: The Developing Infrastructure for Federal Public Private Partnerships

October 20, 2014

There is growing interest on the part of government, philanthropy and business to work together to achieve greater impact. Partnerships that span the sectors have the potential to achieve more than any sector can achieve on its own by leveraging the strengths of each. However, such partnerships also give rise to added costs and entail greater risks. To address these challenges, offices of strategic partnerships are emerging at the federal level to provide an infrastructure to catalyze cross-sectoral partnerships. This report examines 21 such offices in federal departments and agencies whose purpose is to facilitate and accelerate partnerships with philanthropy and business -- ranging from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Education, to the Department of State and the Agency for International Development, to the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The formation of these offices has been driven by champions within government -- many with prior experience in philanthropy or business -- that have witnessed the power of working collaboratively with other sectors. Their actions have often been reinforced by executive orders and other directives conducive to their growth. In the case of those offices that have been created in the last few years, they have also been encouraged by the examples of their more established counterparts.

Philanthropy: Imagination, Innovation, and Context

December 10, 2013

Since its inception in 2000, the Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy has organized convenings like the Forum, bringing together leading voices in philanthropy to discuss ideas, test assumptions and provoke conversations about how philanthropy can make thegreatest impact on enduring public problems. This fifth Forum was not only a chance to discuss trends, challenges and opportunities, but also to share experiences and to learn from and inspire each other. By bringing together leaders with varied perspectives and roles in the fields of philanthropy, nonprofits, business and government, we hope to effect meaningful change by enabling connections and identifying pathways that advance the most promising solutions to community problems. This report discusses the findings of the forum.

Prospects for Foundation Philanthropy in Los Angeles During Uncertain Times: 2010 Update

November 30, 2010

Based on a 2010 survey of the largest foundations in Los Angeles County, updates an analysis of trends in foundations' fiscal outlook, expected changes in giving, factors behind grantmaking decisions, priorities and strategies, and future prospects.

Foundation Support for Nonprofit Capital Needs in Southern California

October 1, 2007

Analyzes trends in foundation funding for nonprofits' capital campaigns, land acquisition, and building and renovation in five counties. Lists foundations that may provide capital support, but suggests securing other primary sources of capital funding.

Foundation Engagement in Education Policymaking: Assessing Philanthropic Support of School Choice Initiatives

August 1, 2003

Documents the impact of philanthropic foundations on the movement to give parents greater discretion over the schools their children attend. Focuses on school choice and the activities of individual foundations in California and New York.

Foundations for the Future: Emerging Trends in Foundation Philanthropy

January 1, 2000

Paper presented at the Forum on Philanthropy, Public Policy and the Economy, January 19-20, 2000.Foundations are currently experiencing an unprecedented period of change. Historically, change in the foundation sector has been created from within or in response to legislative and regulatory changes. At the cusp of the 21st century, however, foundations face a barrage of simultaneous external forces that are redefining the world in which philanthropy operates. Never before in the history of the philanthropic sector has so much change taken place, at such a rapid pace, outside of the control of the foundations themselves. This paper presents the societal trends that are affecting philanthropy, analyzes the impact they are having on foundation programs and operations, and discusses ways that foundations might reinvent themselves to capitalize on the unique opportunities present in today's environment.