Friday, August 22, 2014
Philanthropy in a Time of Polarization | Grantmakers in the Arts
Philanthropy in a Time of Polarization | Grantmakers in the Arts: nstitutional philanthropy, by law and by tradition, has had an indirect and often awkward connection to the policy process. For the most part, foundations don’t lobby directly for legislation, and they are prohibited from engaging in the kind of political activity — such as campaign spending — that gives other players leverage in policy making. Instead, leaders in philanthropy have pursued a vision of social change that rests on a set of long-held assumptions: that strong ideas and persuasive research, coupled with broad public support and validation by elites, will motivate elected officials; that policy proposals designed to reflect the ideological preferences of both major parties, or the poll-tested preferences of centrist voters, can provide a basis for insider bargaining; and that policy entrepreneurs who operate both inside and outside legislative bodies can act as advocates, sources of ideas and information, and mediators.