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A Different Kind of Funder? Why and How Funders Support Community Philanthropy 

This paper sets out the findings from interviews with representatives of six funder agencies supporting community philanthropy and seeks to explore why funders support the field, and what it means for the ways in which they work. Additionally, this inquiry is interested in the contribution that funders believe they make to advance their own organizational goals and objectives as well as those of community philanthropy. It also sheds light on the type of support that funders would welcome from community philanthropy support organizations and networks.

The inquiry reveals that community philanthropy is attractive to funders for different reasons, suggesting that advocacy efforts should be tailored and customized. Furthermore, variations in funder motivation and intention inform different practices or behaviour. This, in turn, leads to various contributions to development goals and objectives. Finally, the paper submits that community philanthropy support organizations and networks may need to step into a bolder convening, coordinating, and catalyzing role, as funder agencies have an ongoing appetite for technical backstopping, learning and collective sense making. 

Author: Susan Wilkinson-Maposa  

Published by: GFCF & The Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University

Published: January 2017

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« Community philanthropy: a way forward for human rights? | Main | Shifting the Power: How can Working in Partnership Help? »

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