Duke’s Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society Announces Publication of Monograph on Community Foundations and Civic Leadership

May 9, 2013

The Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society (CSPCS), a unit of Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy, announces the publication of Changing the Game: Civic Leadership at The Boston Foundation, 2001-2012, by Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation.  The essay traces the development of The Boston Foundation’s civic leadership model and the Foundation’s evolution into a powerfully engaged, influential player in Boston and across Massachusetts, and suggests approaches that other foundations can adapt to use to achieve comparable results.

The monograph is the second in a series of essays in contemporary philanthropy.  The first in the series, Disrupting Philanthropy: Technology and the Future of the Social Sector, by Lucy Bernholz with Edward Skloot and Barry Varela (2010), is regarded as a seminal paper in the field.

In Changing the Game, Paul S. Grogan describes the changes the Boston Foundation has undergone during the twelve years of his leadership. He elucidates the Foundation’s new approach to effecting community change, including expanded staff capacity, a greater reliance on data and research, a proactive relationship with local media, greater and more consistent public sector engagement, and fundraising efforts broadened to include operational support for the Foundation’s work.  He examines in detail the Foundation’s research-driven efforts to improve housing and education policy in Greater Boston. 

Reflecting on the many ways in many community foundations have evolved to become key leadership institutions in their locales, Grogan concludes, “The days of quiet philanthropy are behind us.”

“Paul has captured how funders with opportunity, influence and money can take a very effective leadership role in a short period of time. Boston is a better and wiser place because of the Boston Foundation,” said Edward Skloot, founder and director of CSPCS.  

The online edition is available simultaneously on the websites of both the Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society and the Boston Foundation. A free hard-copy edition will be available from the Center and from the Foundation in late May.

Paul S. Grogan became the President and CEO of the Boston Foundation, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations, on July 1, 2001.  With net assets of more than $900 million, the Foundation and its donors made $88 million in grants to nonprofit organizations in 2012. The Foundation is a partner in philanthropy, with some 900 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes.  The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener and sponsor of special initiatives that address the region’s most pressing challenges. Since coming to the Foundation, Mr. Grogan has boosted fundraising and streamlined operations while also launching high-impact initiatives in housing, the arts, education reform, workforce development, and civic engagement. 

The Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society researches, analyzes, and promotes philanthropy that consistently produces high impact. CSPCS stimulates communication, collaboration, and problem-solving around pressing issues of public policy and philanthropy.  The Center was formally created in 2008 at the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy (now the Sanford School of Public Policy), Duke University. Edward Skloot, for 18 years the President of the Surdna Foundation in New York City and, before that, the founder of a nonprofit organization focusing on social entrepreneurship, directs the Center. Joel Fleishman, Professor of Law and Public Policy and the motive force behind the Center’s establishment, is the Center’s Faculty Chair.  

Read, The Days of Quiet Philanthropy Are Behind Us, a blog post on Changing the Game, by Tony Proscio, posted on November 26, 2013

Contact at CSPCS: Mary Grimm, 919.613.7432, mary.grimm@duke.edu

Contact at TBF: Ted McEnroe, 617-338-3890,  ted.mcenroe@tbf.org