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Building Change Communities (Arabic)

Perspektifs, pp. 12-25, 2008

7 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2009  

Maximilian Martin

University of St. Gallen

Date Written: June 1, 2008


This paper introduces the concept of change communities in philanthropy. As they reshape social realities, many philanthropists realize that not everything can be accomplished alone. Increasingly, philanthropists therefore start to build "change communities" - groups of experts and wealthy individuals who collaborate toward a common philanthropic objective, committing financial resources, personal networks, and know-how. Depending on cause and ambition level, coordinating one's actions through such a donor collaborative or social investor club can be either highly rewarding or a waste of time. Traditionally, it had been rare for the ten largest funders to a specific cause to know each other and co-invest. This is now changing. As they construct new social realities, philanthropists increasingly adopt a problem-solving approach and ask: who needs to be in the room and with whom do we need to partner to turn the tide on a complicated social issue such as a HIV/AIDS or climate change? The paper analyzes the prospects of change communities and collaborative strategies in philanthropy in the context of shifting organizational boundaries and the rise of entrepreneurship. To be truly effective, today's and tomorrow's philanthropists need to factor in an underlying transformation into their social change equations: profound organizational change affects the nonprofit sector as it globalizes. Part, but not all, of this change can be subsumed under the heading social entrepreneurship. Similar to organizations in the private and the public sector, grant-making and grant-seeking nonprofits operate today in a globalizing field of forces to which they need to respond by redesigning and restructuring their core activities and value chains. What are the implications for civil society organizations' ability to be effective partners in a change community on any given social or environmental issue?

Note: Downloadable document is in Arabic.

Keywords: Philanthropy, non-profit sector, collaboration

JEL Classification: L31

Suggested Citation

Martin, Maximilian, Building Change Communities (Arabic) (June 1, 2008). Perspektifs, pp. 12-25, 2008. Available at SSRN:

Maximilian Martin (Contact Author)

University of St. Gallen ( email )

Tigerbergstrasse 2
St. Gallen, CH-9000

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