An Argument for Foundations to Aspire to Social Change!

An Argument for Foundations to Aspire to Social Change…..

(5-5-10) In “Philanthropy, Evaluation, Accountability, and Social Change,” from the latest issue of The Foundation Review, John Bare, Vice President for the Arthur Blank Family Foundation, argues that many foundations have substituted process accountability for accountability for contributing to social change. Accountability in terms of required reporting is important, but it sets a floor, not an aspirational ceiling. Seeking to extend basic human rights to more individuals around the world, seeking to reduce racism in a given city, or seeking to change public-health norms in small town—all of these aspirations require first a willingness to take on challenges that defy short-term, causal, quantifiable results attributable to a best practice. There are tools—such as risk analysis, systems approaches, and game theory—that can help philanthropy engage in work on complex social problems that cannot be deconstructed into a series of small, linear projects.

To find our more information, I encourage you to visit Grantmakers in the Arts website at

One thought on “An Argument for Foundations to Aspire to Social Change!

  1. Many foundations pretend to be advocates for social change, but for the most part, they’re seriously disconnected from the communities they’re supposed to serve. This is why it’s crucial for artist and foundations that are artist-minded to organize within their local communities for change. For so many years, it seems like the ones who get funded in the arts have absolutely nothing to do with art. Thank You for posting this information and providing a resource for freedom-minded artist.

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