Alan Rabinowitz provides the first comprehensive analysis of the nontraditional or social change philanthropists who help finance national campaigns and grassroots organizations that focus on improving American society and the environment, particularly for minority and low-income people. Written both for funders and grantees already in the field and those just beginning to fund nontraditional activities, Social Change Philanthropy in America examines the experience, operational practices, and future prospects of philanthropists who have been involved in such activities over the past thirty years. Rabinowitz offers new insights into who the funders are and how they think, how funders actually make decisions, what types of grants are made, and the tax, political, and historical aspects of social change funding and its role in America's philanthropic system.
Beginning with an introduction to the network of progressive social change funders and grantees and the philanthropic universe within which they operate, Rabinowitz goes on to analyze the flow of dollars through the nonprofit system. The next two sections present detailed portraits of social change funders and grantees. In part four, the author discusses whether grants for progressive social change are effective and worthwhile, whether grantees are sufficiently accountable, and whether funders and grantees are meeting each other's needs. He then explores progressive funding as an arena of controversy, conflicting ideologies, and, ultimately, electoral politics. The final chapter looks at challenges and prospects for the progressive social change community as strategies for organizing, campaigning, and fundraising are developed for the future. The appendix illustrates in more detail the range and substance of the field for readers with little previous knowledge of progressive social change philanthropy. [via]