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October 2005

Ford Foundation on Market Solutions for Low Income People

Via Brody & Weiser, from the Ford Foundation,  New report -- Part of the Solution: Leveraging Business and Markets for Low-Income People. 

Business can be a powerful tool for helping to improve the income and assets of low-income individuals – if a win-win relationship can be crafted. This report provides success models and analytic frameworks that help nonprofits and funders understand how to work with business as a force for positive social change.

ABCD Institute

The Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD), established in 1995 by the Community Development Program at Northwestern University's Institute for Policy Research, is built upon three decades of community development research by John Kretzman and John L. McKnight . The ABCD Institute spreads its findings on capacity-building community development in two ways: (1) through extensive and substantial interactions with community builders, and (2) by producing practical resources and tools for community builders to identify, nurture, and mobilize neighborhood assets.

Open Source Foundation

David Geilhufe on open source and the voluntary sector.  Why not, he asks, build software that is meant to be leveraged by those who have not paid for it, who might in fact not be able to pay for it? Why not seek the "win" of creating systems and ideas and code that replicates madly at little or no cost for social good? Do we always have to think in terms of cornering the market; why not think of creating social good at the lowest possible cost?

Rudolph Steiner Foundation

Interesting funding model for a foundation:

RSF is an innovative charitable service organization that uses several financial vehicles to fulfill its charitable purposes. RSF has no endowment, and its ability to accomplish its mission rests on the generosity of those who make loans  to RSF - our "investors" - and those who make gifts through RSF – our donor advisors. By investing in and donating through RSF,; you share in the accomplishment of our charitable mission and help expand  its impact....

There are two general ways you can place your financial resource in alignment with your ideals at RSF– by investing         and by donating.

Investing at RSF is simple and easy. Much like a savings account, you make an initial investment, and we start paying you interest. Unlike other financial institutions, though, with RSF you will know that your funds will be loaned by us directly to mission-aligned projects and organizations.  We take great care to protect your investment—and we have a remarkable  record of success with our mission-related loans. We will keep you informed  about the projects you support through your investment at RSF through our Quarterly news and our website, so that you will know where your money is working.

Donating to RSF is the beginning of a philanthropic journey. You can choose the best timing for your gift, then take time to recommend grants to your favorite charitable domestic and international organizations. Our service is designed to connect your heartfelt intentions to important and creative work being done in service to the world. A number of pathways exist at RSF to help you use your charitable contributions to further mission-related work.


Class versus Crass on Foundation Boards

Tom Oxford on Breiteneicher and Cubeta. Perhaps what we have is a clash between the culture of  Dick Minim and Candidia Cruikshanks.  Entrepreneurs have their uses in a commericial society, but most I have met lack breeding, taste, and culture. Since they are money motivated, not paying them to sit on boards is a good thing, since it leaves seats open for the old money, which has been filtered through good prep schools, followed by  Harvard, Yale, or  Princeton, as with Joe &  Co.  A good liberal arts education filters the vulgarity from the sucessful shopkeeper's son. A  mere, unrefined  entrepreneur has no claims to the larger vision of stewardship required for entrance into the upper classes who govern through interlocking boards, at least in proper cities, like Boston. We do not serve on boards for filthy lucre. Don't you agree?