During the Economic Crisis Philanthropy Can Make a Distinct Contribution to the Welfare of Communities, Says Kresge President
TROY, MICHIGAN – In two recent speeches – to an audience of business people in Columbus, Ohio, and nonprofit executives in metropolitan Detroit – Kresge Foundation President Rip Rapson said private philanthropy is uniquely suited to help communities weather the economic crisis and position themselves for future growth once prosperity returns.
In “Philanthropy’s Opportunities and Responsibilities in Times of Civic Redirection,” Rapson advocated for the following:
- Helping communities “chart a course for concerted, mutually reinforcing effort. Philanthropy,” he said, “can create neutral and safe space for the tough give-and-take that is required to agree on a strategic, over-arching community direction.”
- Providing communities with social venture capital and aggregate other financial resources to fund essential activities so that when the economic recovery begins communities will be positioned to take full advantage of new growth opportunities.
- Assisting in the restructuring of a community’s nonprofit ecosystem for optimal delivery of services during the economic crisis and long-term sustainability in the future.
Read Rip Rapson’s full remarks: “Philanthropy’s Opportunities and Responsibilities in Times of Civic Redirection.”
“Nonprofits serve as our society’s moral thermostats,” Rapson added, “organizations that activate in the presence of suffering or hardship. If there was ever a time that these organizations were needed, it is now.”
Rapson spoke to an audience of business leaders in Columbus, Ohio, in February, and, on March 9, to representatives of Detroit-area nonprofit organizations gathered for a seminar titled “Best Practices from the Best Managed Nonprofits.” Each speech was tailored to the respective audience. The speech delivered to the Columbus audience is posted in the President’s Corner.