American civil society is intimately connected to a long history of philanthropic efforts that provide “social goods” outside of or in partnership with government. Many of these efforts may be traced to the founders themselves and were influential in shaping early American institutions relating to education, libraries, hospitals, and the arts. This project is exploring the concerns and issues surrounding giving, sharing, volunteering, and otherwise contributing to our society in the Twenty-First Century.
The project kicked off in September 2016 with a Philanthropy, Gender, and Racial Justice Roundtable in Madison, Wisconsin. Dr. Kimberlyn Leary, former advisor to the White House Council of Women and Girls and Attorney Allison Brown, executive director of the Communities for Just Schools Fund, opened with presentations to provide a context for discussion of the intersections between philanthropy and current pressing social justice issues. IF facilitators worked with over two dozen leaders from Midwest non-profits to explore possible policy and best practice issues in this area of concern.
In 2017 two panels, one in Wisconsin and the other in Washington, D.C. held separate and joint working sessions, which culminated in 2018 with the preparation of two draft documents, both of which can be downloaded from the buttons to the left:
- a draft discussion guide with six contrasting policy possibilities; and
- an accompanying draft set of six narrative “scenarios”