Too many things, too many things

I’ve been wanting to do a philanthropy/politics blog for a while, so it’s exciting to have finally started one. Because there’s no shortage of things to comment on. PhilanTopic has a couple of good ones this week:

  • Foundations and the Common Good talks about the Caring to Change project, which proposes “the Common Good” as a “unifying theme” for what foundations are after as a sector. Look at that, they even talk about negative and positive forms of freedom – freedom from and freedom to, respectively. As I posted just yesterday, this distinction is an important one and in part, but only in part, explains why democracy and markets are in fundamental tension. The classic critique of frameworks that use “the common good” as a central metaphor is that they ignore or underplay power relations, and indeed at first glance there seems to be less of an emphasis here on the ways in which power relations and inequality distort or undermine the common good. But at second glance, the people consulted in putting together include some very thoughtful and social justice-y folk, so I’ll be interested to take another look, and likely discuss further in a future post.
  • “Ten Ways” for Foundations to Strengthen Diversity and Inclusiveness: In time for its annual conference, the Council on Foundations has published a series of reports on diversity for three different types of foundations. Somewhere near the dawn of time, I edited a report for the Joint Affinity Groups on “The Meaning and Impact and Board and Staff Diversity in the Philanthropic Field,” and I wonder how different the recommendations are eight years later. Next time, we’ll do a taste test.

That’s not even getting to some of the stuff posted on Marginal Revolution or Jeff Weintraub this week. This thing is practically writing itself….

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