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Entries in Barry Knight (4)


What Does Community Philanthropy Look Like? 

What Does Community Philanthropy Look Like? Case Studies on Community Philanthropy - Vol. 1

Barry Knight & Andrew Milner, CENTRIS, 2014

What makes the global spread of community philanthropy organizations so exciting is the variety of forms they take, adaptations to different local contexts, challenges, resources, and leaders. The core similarities matter—all in some way help geographic communities mobilize financial and other kinds of capital for improvement of the lives of residents. But so do the differences. Some have endowments, some don’t. Some are large, more are small. Some call themselves community foundations, others do not. This diversity is one sign of community philanthropy’s flexibility, potential, and rising popularity.

But it also presents a challenge to those who want to better understand and support community philanthropy, especially on a global level. A practice so varied, so organic and tied to local conditions, complicates classification, resists general conclusions, and calls for lots of learning through example. A movement relatively young and quickly evolving, with a limited body of applied research, requires ongoing documentation and study.

So it was that the C.S. Mott Foundation—which has supported a number of initiatives to strengthen and expand community philanthropy—commissioned Barry Knight of CENTRIS to explore the work and develop case studies of eight community philanthropy organizations around the world.


A different kind of wealth: mapping a baseline of African community foundations

A different kind of wealth: mapping a baseline of African community foundations

Jenny Hodgson and Barry Knight, October 2012, GFCF

The report focuses on a set of African institutions, including community foundations, community philanthropy institutions and local foundations operating in different parts of the African continent. The group is small but growing rapidly and has importance beyond its size. This report lays a baseline for the field and tells the beginning of an important story about a new generation of local philanthropic institutions which is emerging in Africa, some seeded with money from outside the continent, others entirely home‑grown – and all seeking to draw on local resources and tap into different forms of wealth, which include cash but also include other, less tangible, forms of social capital such as trust and credibility.

Read the report

Read the report in French


The New Generation of Community Foundations

Jenny Hodgson, Barry Knight and Alison Mathie (2012) GFCF and Coady International Institute

Community foundations have enjoyed considerable growth in recent years, not only in their number but also in their character. This emergence of a ‘new generation’ of community foundations is occurring within a larger context of other emerging forms of ‘social solidarity’ movements and institutions, including rural development philanthropy, member‑based organizing and other hybrid forms of citizen‑led actions.

“The New Generation of Community Foundations”, published by the GFCF and the Coady International Institute, explores the emerging community foundation phenomenon in the context of disillusionment with conventional channels of international aid.

The report draws on the literature relating to community philanthropy, mutual responsibility and the broader social economy, as well as empirical data on the growth of the field, and it provides an analysis of five case examples of community foundations in the Global South as evidence for a re‑conceptualization of their role and potential contribution as catalysts for citizen‑led and socially inclusive development.

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The Value of Community Philanthopy: Results of a Consultation

Barry Knight (2012) Aga Khan Foundation USA & Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

As partners in the pursuit of sustainable development, AKF USA and the Mott Foundation conducted a series of collaborative consultations in North America, Africa and Asia to explore how community philanthropy can help build local capacity. The results of these consultations demonstrate the importance of foundations and development agencies partnering with local communities to achieve lasting development outcomes.

The report, authored by Barry Knight, CENTRIS Consultant and Facilitator, offers a definition of community philanthropy for practitioners and identifies key priorities for building the capacity of the field of community philanthropy. According to Knight, "The roundtable consultations in Washington, DC, Johannesburg and Dhaka revealed an enormous potential for local community foundations around the globe to build links between partners and identify priority areas and next steps to propel forward the field of community philanthropy."

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Read the Russian translation