Courageous Philanthropy is a story about power, risk, equity and ownership in community change.

courageous philanthropy

When transformation is needed, courage is required. This book is about taking the dare.

In the struggle to deal with large-scale disinvestment, rampant gentrification, and the unjust narrative of race and real estate, Jennifer Vanica shares the power and possibility of achieving a shift in the fundamental long-term community control over decisions and assets through the resident ownership of neighborhood change.

It is time to forge a new, more courageous relationship between foundations and the communities we serve.

A risk-taking project to develop a toxic industrial site, Market Creek was groundbreaking in its resident-driven approach, guiding principles, ownership structure, and intentional strategies for addressing power dynamics between foundations and communities. Using the lessons from this 20-year experience, Jennifer Vanica brings forward the voice of both residents and partners who participated, as well as over 50 thought-leaders in the field of philanthropy and community-building, to bring forward a comprehensive look what works and what stands in the way of change.

As a call to action for philanthropy to change historical practices that keep community change from being powerful, impactful, and enduring, Courageous Philanthropy shares tools, structures and strategies for a new way to partner that will inspire its readers to re-imagine what is possible.

About the Author

jennifer vanica

Jennifer Vanica

Senior Fellow at PolicyLink

Jennifer Vanica is a forty-year veteran in philanthropy and community change. Under her leadership, the Jacobs Family Foundation received the Council on Foundations' Critical Impact Award for innovative and bold solutions to enhance the public good, and in 2009, Jennifer was recognized with the James Irvine Leadership Award for California leaders who are implementing innovative and effective solutions to significant state issues. She serves as a Senior Fellow at PolicyLink, writing and speaking on the power of community ownership as the key to inspired civic action and community transformation.

Get Your Copy

Also Available On

Keep In Touch

We would love to keep in touch and join the conversation. We know that change happens when leaders, community members, and stakeholders are involved. Join us to share work and stay connected.