“Participation is the new endowment.”
This observation from the Aspen Institute’s Janet Topolsky has been stuck in my head since I read it a month ago in the Nonprofit Quarterly. She was part of a panel discussing the recent report The Value of Community Philanthropy by the C.S Mott Foundation and Aga Khan Foundation.
The article came around the same time that philanthropic provocateur Emmett Carson spoke in Pittsburgh. He cited the Philanthropy Awareness Initiative’s research showing the majority of civic leaders across America don’t feel informed about the work of foundations and can’t cite an example of a foundation’s impact.