What would a new economy that works for everyone look like? And how do you create it? The Boston Ujima Project thinks it has some answers, building a place-based investment fund that is democratically controlled by community members .
At the age of 30, Sam Polk walked away from a highly paid trading job to enter the social change arena. With help from the Kellogg Foundation and other backers, he’s building a social enterprise that’s focused on food equity and has big ambitions.
Philanthropy is a small but important part of major projects in Seattle and the Bay Area aimed at ensuring more affordable housing and providing aid to the homeless. Where can grant dollars have the most impact in taking on these daunting challenges?
Using the arts to drive equitable community development has been both a promising and frustrating proposition ever since it started gaining traction among funders roughly a decade ago. We check in on how a key leader in this space, the Kresge Foundation, sees the field evolving.
While Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos’ separation is making headlines, a slew of grants announced last fall by their Day 1 Families Fund made the couple among the nation’s largest givers for homelessness. How’s that playing out so far?
Economic development and entrepreneurship are on the forefront of many funders’ minds these days as they seek to catalyze urban growth. But some foundations are taking these goals to a whole new level to give their hometowns a boost.
The SunTrust Foundation, based in Atlanta, launched its Lighting the Way awards program in 2016 to recognize nonprofits in its market areas building financial confidence in their communities. Where are grants going?
Human service organizations don’t just apply Band-Aids to social problems. They also can drive larger change and help struggling Americans climb up the economic ladder. Or at least that’s the idea behind a Kresge Foundation initiative now in its second year.
With the housing crisis accelerating and federal support shrinking, the Orcas Island Community Foundation in Washington State is the latest local funder undertaking new work in this space—including an advocacy role.
More anti-poverty funders are looking beyond major cities to struggling rural communities. The latest example of grantmakers casting a wider net is the Communities Thrive Challenge, from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Rockefeller Foundation.
Last month after a contentious campaign, San Francisoc voters approved a ballot measure to tax the city’s richest companies to help the homeless. Now one of the measure’s biggest supporters is putting millions of his own money where his mouth is.
Detroit has become a test case for philanthropy’s growing push against urban poverty. We look at how the latest philanthropists on the scene, Steve and Connie Ballmer, are approaching the city’s entrenched challenges.
With backing from Knight and other funders, Philadelphia has been engaged in a unique experiment to strengthen the city’s civic engagement ecosystem. This initiative has had to overcome a number of challenges.
Wells Fargo is the latest bank to make a big bet on urban community development, with a focus on Washington, D.C. The move comes amid multiple scandals around the bank, which badly needs some good publicity.
The Surdna Foundation is known for being a trailblazer among progressive foundations. But how does that role play out in terms of where grants actually go? Here’s a quick peak.
A growing range of foundations is giving to build housing for the homeless, looking for a more permanent solution to a chronic problem. Here’s the latest example of how these capital projects come together.
A couple of years ago, Detroit's Marygrove College was running out of cash. Now, it's the fulcrum of a big push by the Kresge Foundation to use a higher ed institution to drive place-based development.
JPMorgan Chase has been blazing a more sophisticated trail for corporate philanthropy. But as the bank giant rolls out its newest program of grants and investments, can it really claim it’s engaged in “systems change?”
The Gates Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative have both been ramping up anti-poverty work. Now, they’re teaming up to back a policy shop founded by one of the hottest scholars in this space: Raj Chetty.
Self-driving vehicles stand to change cities radically, for better or worse, with big implications for equity and the environment. One foundation is trying to give residents more say in how this plays out.
The San Francisco Foundation shifted to an equity grantmaking strategy over two years ago, an early adopter of a focus that’s become a driving force in philanthropy. How’s that been working out? And what are key takeaways for other funders?
As Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos turn to large-scale giving, they’re targeting two urgent but neglected areas. That’s smart. But if Jeff is really worried about inequality, his real power lies in changing how Amazon operates.
As a prominent smart growth advocate and program director at Ford, Don Chen worked alongside Surdna as it evolved into an influential social justice funder. We talk to Chen about his future role leading it into its next phase.
Kresge released an outside assessment of its giving at the intersection of climate, equity and urban water. It identified needs in the sector for more education and funding—especially of community-based leaders.
Since its restructuring, the iconic Ford Foundation has been tackling key drivers of inequality. Xavier de Souza Briggs, who leads Ford’s economic grantmaking, gives us an in-depth look at what that means.
Freshwater management has lately emerged as a major philanthropic issue. The Surdna Foundation is a leader in this space, as part of its broader work in backing green infrastructure for sustainability and equity.
Rational policymaking may not always win out in D.C., but funders like Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Arnold Foundation want to make it easier on the local level. Success may depend on targeting the right issue areas.
Cities nationwide are mixing public and private funds to upgrade shared spaces. But what are the social, economic and civic effects? A funder-backed initiative is developing the metrics and data to find out.
Kresge’s green giving is not quite like any other large foundation’s, entirely supporting climate resilience in cities, and with a unique focus on equity. We take a deep dive into its environmental program.
Salesforce’s new office tower in San Francisco looms as a symbol of tech omnipotence in a region with deepening stratification. The company and its CEO are also leaders in philanthropy. But are they bold enough?