Why Are Foundations Often Absent From Major Policy Shifts?

Brief

Why Are Foundations Often Absent From Major Policy Shifts?

October 4, 2009

Abstract

In this posting for the New York Regional Association of Foundations (NYRAG). Gene Steuerle speculates on why foundations have often been absent from such major policy turns as major tax reform, some EITC increases, large budget changes that indirectly squeezed programs of interest to the foundations, and the recent upswing and then downturn in housing ownership by moderate-income households. He then discusses possible causes: project-oriented funding rather than more lasting support, fear of a perception of lobbying, silos, misapplication of performance measurement, inability to deal with complex issues, lack of trust in grantees, and the tendency to fight yesterdays battles.

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