New KF Occasional Paper: Philanthropy and the Regeneration of Community Democracy

The inquiry described in this Kettering Foundation occasional paper is located within a current debate in philanthropy and among its critics about the behavior of public foundations (including community foundations) and private foundations alike. The underlying assumption among foundations of all kinds has been that productive change comes from technical intervention through programs and services. However, various pressures, including frustration with results that all too often seem superficial and disappointing, have led to growing interest in something beyond traditional approaches. This different approach—variously described as community or civic capacity building, community-based problem solving, democratic institution building, comprehensive community change, and so on—is sometimes met with skepticism. This report is intended to give greater assurance that this “other” course for communities with support from philanthropy is indeed possible. CLICK HERE to read and download.