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Article

Paula Allen-Meares

A growing subset of hometown and place-based foundations in the United States have adopted an embedded philanthropic approach, in which funders “dig in” and “dig deeper” into the life of communities. Embedded philanthropy and embedded funders may change the landscape of community-building efforts in significant ways. This article discusses the history of U.S. foundations, their involvement in community development, and the emergence of comprehensive community initiatives. This entry also describes the distinction between embedded funding approaches and other conventional efforts. These include the use of a “bottom up” approach to social change, a focus on helping communities to build capacity, and the building of community assets. Case studies of select embedded foundation efforts will be presented to illustrate current methods, challenges, and implications for future work. This entry will also discuss a few of the new roles foundations play in order to achieve their objectives. As this approach continues to evolve and more evaluations take place, greater understanding will develop regarding the way forward for foundations in the United States.

Article

Jerry D. Marx

Philanthropy can be defined as the voluntary effort to increase the well-being of humankind. It includes the giving of money, time, or other resources to charitable organizations. Philanthropy is especially important in the United States, because of the nation's emphasis on private initiative and minimal government in promoting societal well-being. The profession of social work has its roots in the development of a more scientific approach to philanthropy. In the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2008, social workers have faced increased challenges in soliciting donations to human service charities.

Article

Helmut K. Anheier and Marcus Lam

Foundations are private institutions for public benefit. With a long history that reaches back to antiquity, foundations are experiencing a renaissance and increased attention paid to them by policy makers. Already by the mid-1980s, observers had begun to report the end of the relative decline in the overall size and importance of the foundation sector—a trend that had characterized the previous decades. Some analysts suggest the possibility of a new, third “foundation wave,” after a first growth period in the late Middle Ages, alongside the rise of commerce and finance, and a second period of growth in the late 19th century, following the industrial revolution. Political stability, an increase in demand for social, educational, and cultural services of all kinds, and economic prosperity are certainly significant factors behind this growth. Yet a more immediate reason is the way in which foundations have been suggesting themselves as instruments of welfare state reform in the broadest sense.

Article

Larraine M. Edwards

Porter Raymond Lee (1879–1939), social work education pioneer, helped to formulate a generic social casework theory. He was general secretary of the Philadelphia Society for Organizing Charity and was instrumental in organizing the American Association of Schools of Social Work.

Article

Dennis L. Poole

Voluntarism can be interpreted at the levels of values, structure, and ideology. In Western society, voluntarism rests heavily on secular and religious values originating in both Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian traditions. Today the voluntary sector in the United States can be divided into five main types: social support networks, grassroots associations, nonprofit organizations, human service agencies, and private foundations. At the level of ideology, voluntarism can be interpreted as “civil society.”

Article

Larraine M. Edwards

Josephine Shaw Lowell (1843–1905) the first female member of the New York State Board of Charities, succeeded in providing more correctional facilities for women and mental health institutions. In 1891 she became the first president of the Consumers League.

Article

Jean K. Quam

Robert Weeks De Forest (1848–1931) was a lawyer, philanthropist, and social reformer. He is credited with developing the New York School of Philanthropy and the Russell Sage Foundation. He was the president of the New York City Charity Organization Society from 1881 to 1931.

Article

Jean K. Quam

Edward T. Devine(1867–1948) was a writer, educator, and administrator. As general secretary of the New York Charity Organization Society, he formed the Wayfarer's Lodge and the Tenement House Committee. He was Director of the New York School of Philanthropy.