The Nonprofit sectors' rich relations? Foundations and their grantmaking activities

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This chapter outlines and critically discusses the grantmaking foundation arena. After highlighting practical, conceptual, and definitional challenges presented by the foundation field, the chapter traces the historic shift in emphasis from an operating to a grantmaking foundation model and the characteristics, opportunities, and obstacles inherent in grantmaking. Thereafter, attention shifts to the extent and nature of foundations’ resources and provisions. Do these live up to popular perceptions? What social and moral challenges do they present? Moving to questions of whether foundations present private or public goods, the chapter reviews the different roles and purposes ascribed to foundations, and the extent to which these are fulfilled. Concluding, the chapter points to recent developments in the foundation field that emphasize more pragmatic and engaged grantmaking approaches as a potential way for addressing some of the tension highlighted throughout the chapter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Nonprofit Management
EditorsHelmut Anheier, Stefan Toepler
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781315181011
ISBN (Print)9781138744462
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge companions in business, management and marketing


  • Philanthropy
  • Foundations
  • Nonprofit
  • Grant making

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