Charity Begins at Home might be the model of the concept of community foundations, as Rep. Hans Zeiger (Puyallup, WA) describes in Philanthropy Today.
The thing about localized giving is that the donors tend to be less romantic and more practical. Local needs are obvious, as are the results of local charity. On the other hand, the “needs” of one’s alma mater or various grand foundation programs are more abstract.
The odd thing is that big national foundations are among those sponsoring the emphasis on localism. Speaking of a paper prepared for a conference the Aspen Institute, Zeiger writes, “…(T)he Lumina Foundation and the Ford Foundation have undertaken recent new place-based initiatives. The California Endowment, the Kellogg Foundation, and the Knight Foundation have intensified their commitment to their local communities or regions. The goal of the meeting, then, was ‘to capitalize on this resurgence of place based grantmaking and address these key questions and more as they relate to investing in place.’”