Helmut K. Anheier and Diana Leat
COMEDIA in association with the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust (15 November 2002)
Why have British foundations remained immune from public analysis of their activities, and how can they evolve into truly creative institutions?
This report, significantly initiated by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd., a non-charitable foundation, vividly illustrates the need to open up a public dialogue about the future of philanthropy. The authors make a compelling case to move away from the operating concept of the 'charitable foundation' of the past towards the 'creative foundation' of the future. Such a renaissance in philanthropy would have the potential of releasing a new energy, both intellectual and practical, placing foundations at the crossroads of society rather than at its centre, where they can evolve as factories of ideas that bring about and facilitate innovation in the broadest sense.
From Charity to Creativity opens the debate about the proper roles of philanthropic foundations in the 21st century, arguing that endowed, philanthropic foundations are a good and increasingly vital institution in modern societies. Foundations fit in well with the way advanced democratic societies are developing, in particular in an era of 'small' government and greater social diversity. Yet at the same time, foundations' current visions, roles, and, above all, organisational forms make it difficult for them to fulfil their promise. For many foundations, there could ultimately be little defence for the significant privileges they enjoy, in particular their favourable tax treatment and their right to operate with a minimum of public oversight and accountability. Against this backdrop, a new vision and legitimate role for foundations based on their innovativeness and creativity is going to be essential. As a private problem-solving institution for public problems, the Creative Foundation which this ground-breaking book proposes is an exciting prospect.
Helmut K. Anheier is Centennial Professor at LSE, and Full Professor at the School of Public Policy and Social Research, University of California, Los Angeles.
Diana Leat is a internationally known expert on philanthropy and foundations, and visiting fellow at LSE's Centre for Civil Society.
To read the press release on this report, click here
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From Charity to Creativity: philanthropic foundations in the 21st Century
Published by COMEDIA in association with the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust
160pp £12.95 (inc p&p)
ISBN: 1 873667 16 7