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Infrastructure In Focus: A Special Look at Organizations Serving Community Philanthropy

Oct 16, 2014
Infrastructure In Focus: A Special Look at Organizations Serving Community Philanthropy seeks to increase our understanding of community philanthropy infrastructure organizations, including areas where their practice and our knowledge about them can improve. Community philanthropy shows great promise for strengthening communities throughout the world. The number of new philanthropy organizations taking this community-based approach -- basically one that engages multiple community constituencies and garners resources for the community's well being -- is growing. And emerging evidence exists that these organizations play a vital role in promoting sustainable development internationally, with the potential to leverage the even more sizeable financial investments made by other foundations, development aid, and governments. For this report, real stories of where community philanthropy support has actually made a difference to the field were used, and data was collected in a universe of 61 WINGS members and network participants supporting community philanthropy -- representing more than one thousand community foundations worldwide. The report also builds on a series of WINGS Global Status Reports, which have tracked the growth and development of community foundations worldwide since 2000, creating a unique body of knowledge on the sector. Another important source of information was the survey conducted for the Community Foundation Atlas, an initiative that brought together a group of organizations, including WINGS, to map community foundations globally. The Atlas is one of the initiatives celebrating a milestone in the field - the centennial of the Cleveland Foundation - and has collected data in an impressive scale. This report is intended for several audiences: community philanthropy infrastructure organizations themselves, which can gain insights about their role, peers and impact in the context of the wider field; funders interested in community philanthropy and prospective supporters of infrastructure development (including foundations, development agencies and governments); consultants and academics interested in studying these infrastructure organizations as a field; and finally community philanthropy organizations that benefit from a strengthened infrastructure. We also recommend next steps for WINGS members and network participants to consider. This report is in compliance with the Global Philanthropy Data Charter. For more information visit: www.philanthropydata.wingsweb.org.

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