Institutional innovation in philanthropy: community foundations in the UK

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30 Citations (Scopus)


In the United Kingdom, there has been a resurgence of interest in philanthropy amongst the media, policymakers, and scholars alike. In this context, the analysis of new and innovative forms of philanthropy is paramount. This paper focuses on an innovation in the philanthropic form: the community foundation. The success of community foundations in the United States provided the impetus for the establishment of community foundations in the UK in the 1980s. This paper examines how the community foundation form has been adapted to the UK and the factors which have influenced the development and roles of British community foundations. It is argued that this study is both timely and important for three reasons. First, the analysis of new structures through which people give furthers our understanding of Britain’s culture of giving. Second, the paper examines the role of community-based philanthropy in the civil renewal of Britain’s communities. Finally, the study makes an important contribution to efforts to promote the community foundation form worldwide as it highlights the challenges of transferring philanthropic forms from one context to another.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-241
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008


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