Place-Based Philanthropy?

Q: What is place-based philanthropy?

A: Also called “embedded philanthropy,” this increasingly popular approach to giving emphasizes intimate, active engagement in community change specific to a local community. Embedded philanthropists make a long-term commitment to living and working in a community or neighborhood. There, they take on the myriad interconnected issues affecting that community, making grants, building close relationships with community actors, and often providing direct services and technical assistance.

Examples of embedded philanthropy:

  • Steans Family Foundation in the North Lawndale area of Chicago
  • Jacobs Family Foundation in the Diamond neighborhoods of San Diego
  • Initiatives of the Annie E. Casey Foundation

For information on this approach and profiles of several families doing this work, see the Casey-supported research of Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago.