NNCG Knowledge Center

Inform Your Practice. Increase Your Impact.

Welcome to NNCG's Knowledge Center -- a searchable, online database of resources for and about grantmaking, produced by highly qualified and experienced philanthropy consultants. NNCG's Knowledge Center contains a wealth of reports, case studies, infographics, issue briefs, videos and more that offer ideas, research and helpful information about almost every aspect of philanthropy. Each item was authored or published by an NNCG member. NNCG constructed the Knowledge Center in partnership with Candid -- one of the most respected and trusted sources of information in the philanthropic field.
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Leading Boldly: Foundations Can Move Past Traditional Approaches to Create Social Change Through Imaginative -- Even Controversial -- Leadership

December 1, 2004

Rarely do foundations publicly communicate their dissatisfaction with their grantees, withhold funds, or use tactics that carry the risks of creating ill will. Yet extraordinary results can be achieved if foundations were more imaginative, visible, and controversial. Three foundations shocked the city of Pittsburgh in 2002 by abruptly suspending their funding to local public schools. The foundations announced their decision in a news conference that attracted both local and national coverage -- a sharp departure from their usual approach of working quietly behind the scenes. Foundation executives explained that they had completely lost confidence in the ability of the local school board to run the district. Their action yielded a community-wide process that led to real change. Here's how foundations can exercise Adaptive Leadership without misusing authority.

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