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. IF Fellows Natalie Hopkinson and Dennis Boyer plan to examine the concerns and issues surrounding giving, sharing, volunteering, and otherwise contributing to our society in the Twenty-First Century.
The project kicked off in mid September with a Philanthropy, Gender, and Racial Justice Roundtable in Madison, Wisconsin. Dr. Kimberlyn Leary, advisor to the White House Council of Women and Girls and Attorney Allison Brown, executive director of the Communities for Just Schools Fund and previously a program officer with the Open Society Foundations, opened with presentations that provided 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.
Natalie and Dennis hope to commence IF discussion panel work in 2016. They maintain a Facebook group On Giving that collects materials and comments on these themes. They also welcome suggestions and referrals to other resources. You may contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com