About the Project: Why Foundations for the Common Good PDF Print E-mail

Caring to Change participants and advisors have identified a multitude of reasons why foundations should orient their work around Common Good values. For example:

  • Using a Common Good rubric will help foundations set their particular mission interests in a larger context and better design program strategies based on broader and more coherent problem analyses.

  • By declaring and evoking a Common Good value base, foundations are more likely to find greater resonance with what matters to people and gain greater support for their core missions.

  • Grantmaking to benefit both core mission and the broader Common Good will increase the return on foundation investments.

  • Foundations with clarity about their values can use them as the North Star to guide programs and to assess overall progress.

  • By increasing the Common Good, foundations will benefit their principal missions by generally decreasing needs, enriching the quality of life across communities, and generating new resources for their core interests.

  • By contributing to, encouraging and becoming more adept at supporting social change in service to the Common Good, there will be cascading benefits as foundations employ similar strategies in various areas of their missions.

  • Foundations standing on the high ground of the Common Good will be better appreciated by policymakers and the public who might not otherwise have an affinity with their narrower missions.

  • The Common Good provides foundations with shared purposes and unifies organized philanthropy around a coherent rubric rather than as an aggregation of dissimilarly-focused entities.

  • The Common Good rubric supplies the context in which philanthropy and individual foundations can locate themselves and delineate their relationship to government, business, and faith-based institutions.

  • The Common Good also provides context and incentives for foundations to address diversity and other agenda important to their internal and external organization and operation.

  • The Common Good provides foundations with a new base from which to provide and assert important public leadership in society.


Material on this site is based on the report Foundations for the Common Good. You are invited to download a complimentary copy or purchase the printed report.

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