Posts by Allen Smart

Director’s Blog 6.0

rural road

As we head towards the homestretch of the currently funded Rural Philanthropy Analysis Project (RPA) here at Campbell University, I thought it time to review what we have done to date and what you all can expect to see through the end of 2018. When asked to describe the work of RPA, my best shorthand…

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Equity: It’s Not Just an Urban Issue

young woman

Over the past few years, there has been an uptick in conversations, meetings, and efforts to embrace equity in philanthropy. Sometimes we see this growing interest manifest as a new portfolio; sometimes it’s embedded in a revised mission and vision. This movement has been a long time coming, and there are many who have toiled…

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Philanthropic Risk: It’s Personal

Two ways that grantmakers can encourage more risk-taking among leaders and staff Philanthropy has an uncertain relationship with risk. Foundations big and small couch their strategies around innovation – often complemented by statements about their willingness to take risks in pursuit of those strategies. However, given funders’ current interest in evidence-based work and easily quantifiable…

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What Rural America Can Teach Us About Civil Society

In their quest to cultivate a renewed sense of civil society, Americans often look to urban areas for examples of what is and isn’t working in terms of bridging divides and bringing people together. This makes sense, since approximately 80 percent of us live in urban areas. Many also point to a perceived rift between…

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Stakeholder Health

Stakeholder health is a movement to support hospitals and healthcare systems working outside the walls of their facilities. We are pleased to be asked to co-author “Philanthropy, Health Systems and Community Health Improvement”, a chapter in the report Stakeholder Health: Insights from New Systems of Health, edited by Teresa F. Cutts and James R. Cochrane.…

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The Lonely Rural Funder’s Guide to Networking

In my work researching and building rural philanthropy, I’ve seen two main types of foundations that describe themselves as “rural funders.” These include statewide or regional foundations that invest in rural and urban communities, and smaller, place-based family or corporate foundations that are specifically rooted in individual rural communities. Many of these rural funders feel…

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