causes, issues, or communities you want to support, chances
are good that an existing foundation is already working
fruitfully in that area. Unless philanthropy truly excites
you -- and you are ready to give it enough attention to
do it well -- consider giving assets to a public foundation
that supports your fields of interest.
institutions already have ample administrative support
and professional staff to seek out projects and evaluate
them thoroughly. Many offer a range of structures which
let donors be as involved -- or as distant -- as they
the article on page 12 Wally Nielsen describes community
foundations as sensible giving vehicles for many families
with wealth. Readers of
More Than Money
be interested in the networks of "alternative"
or issue-oriented funds which have developed around the
country in the past two decades.
funds include the sixteen community foundations of the
Funding Exchange, the more than seventy local funds of
the Women's Funding Network, and a federation of twenty
Black United Funds. Representatives of these organizations,
plus the board and staff of hundreds more, come together
annually through the National Network of Grantmakers.
Distinguishing characteristics of many of these funds
are: 1) their focused support of social change organizing;
2) their attempt to democratize philanthropy by having
community activists serve on grantmaking boards; and,
3) an asset management strategy that includes socially
responsible investments. -- the
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