By Todd Cohen
RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina, Silicon Valley and New York City are the focus of pilot efforts by one of the biggest U.S. foundations to help “unleash” local philanthropy by linking and backing groups working to tap philanthropic dollars, time and know-how.
“We believe that there are in fact resources in communities that can be connected for greater community benefit,” says Dan Moore, a program director for philanthropy and volunteerism at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Mich.
Kellogg, which contributes roughly $15 million a year to support philanthropy and volunteerism, has revamped the focus of that grantmaking program
“We’re not going to fund individual programs in isolation,” says Moore. “There’s never going to be enough money for Kellogg to fund all the organizational needs in any one region, such as North Carolina or Silicon Valley.”
Instead, Kellogg aims to help local groups team up to harness local philanthropy, “creating a marketplace of ideas and relationships,” he says.
Kellogg will focus on strengthening and connecting social entrepreneurs, young people, women, creators of wealth, corporate social innovators and communities of color.
Focusing on those groups, the foundation will use its grants to support emerging leaders and donors, boost the creation and sharing of knowledge, and build tools to help nonprofits sustain themselves and help foundations be more effective.
“The task is to increase the pie rather than fight over a percentage of the pie,” says Moore, who is married to Kathyrn Moore, dean of the College of Education at N.C. State University in Raleigh, and commutes regularly between Raleigh and Battle Creek.
In recent months, Moore has met with philanthropy and nonprofit leaders throughout North Carolina, trying to find a role for Kellogg in helping local groups boost philanthropy in the state.
In Silicon Valley, the foundation is working to help connect eight to 10 groups it has awarded grants in the past.
And in New York City, it is backing the Coalition for New Philanthropy – a collaborative initiative to promote new philanthropy among blacks, Hispanics, Asian Americans and other non-white communities.
Kellogg, for example, has given the coalition $286,000 to promote new philanthropy in minority communities through activities such as education of new donors and financial advisers, and analysis of organized and individual giving in those communities.
Kellogg also is working to help a coalition member, the New York Regional Association of Grantmakers, along with its grantmaker members, make the promotion of philanthropy an ongoing part of their work.
“We are really helping to do the R&D work for the sector,” says Moore. “Just as other industries invest in new product development and strengthening their industries, that’s what we’re doing here. Philanthropy should invest a part of its resources for the health and promotion of its industry.”