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Community philanthropy and large-scale assets: How shifting the power builds resilience in times of crisis 

Mass forced migration, climate disruption, violent conflicts, and growing global economic inequality are some of the enormous and interlinked forces we face today, causing suffering for millions of people and fraying our societal bonds. At the same time, public faith in institutions is at historic
lows, and governments in many parts of the world are exerting authoritarian control and stifling dissent. Thoughtful, democratic stewardship of natural resources, recognition of communities’ right to self‐determination, and a commitment to a vibrant future for everyone are more important than ever to counterbalance these destructive trends. 

On a small scale, community philanthropy speaks powerfully to all of these critical needs and offers practical strategies for increasing peace, well‐being, and accountability. But what is the potential for community philanthropy to deliver these at greater scale? The GFCF conducted research on how and whether community philanthropy can be a tool for communities to negotiate with powerful stakeholders, strengthen leadership and consensus‐building, and realize development projects that reflect their long‐term vision for sustainability by harnessing large‐scale assets. Our findings suggest not only that community philanthropy organizations can ‘scale up’ to manage much larger assets but that their structure and purpose allow them to have a transformative effect. Prioritizing relationships from the early stages and fostering a culture of on‐going iteration are key to realizing this potential.  

Author: Mary Fifield

Published by: GFCF

Published: October 2018

Download: ‘Community philanthropy and large-scale assets’

« Dignity and development | Main | Time to #ShiftThePower? Community philanthropy and durable development »

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