Abstract Philanthropic foundations have become increasingly important actors in the governance of cities in decline in the United States. The relationships between foundation and other actors within city governance are illuminated via contrasting interpretations of state-society power relationships which highlight the mutability of ‘civil society’ as an oppositional or integrated part of the state. After detailing a typology of philanthropy of place, the twofold role played by foundations in the governance of neighbourhood revitalization in the cities in which they are embedded is explored: not only as an important source of funding and support for neighbourhood-based organizations, but as contributors to the creation of neighbourhood revitalization policy agendas. Considering the cities of Baltimore and Cleveland reveals that the policy approaches adopted have tended to align with the predominant neoliberal policy agenda rather than revealing foundation actors as activists who assist the organizations they support in exerting agency to contest or seek to transform the prevailing hegemony. This makes clear the need for rigour in defining what constitutes civil society, and points to the importance of embedded philanthropic practices in enabling civil society agency. Introduction In the US, philanthropic foundations have always been important partners of federal government in international (Arnove, 1980) and domestic policy (Roelofs, 2007). Since the ‘devolution and nonprofitisation’ (Silverman, Lewis and Patterson, 2014) of federal urban policy from the 1980s onwards, foundations have become increasingly important actors in the local governance of cities in decline (Stone, 2015), particularly in the realm of neighbourhood revitalization and community development. This article focuses on city-level relationships between philanthropic foundations and non-profit organizations in the realm of neighbourhood revitalization. It first considers the relationships between foundation and other actors within city governance, theoretically framed by contrasting interpretations of state-society power relationships and the contestability and mutability of ‘civil society’ as a Tocquevillian counterbalance to or Gramscian integrated part of the state. It then examines the history of foundation philanthropy of place approaches in the US, contrasting private and community foundations, and learnings which have led to more locally embedded approaches, as expressed in a typology of forms pursued which have different implications for the agency of neighbourhood organizations. The typology is then applied by considering neighbourhood revitalization efforts in two cities, Baltimore and Cleveland, revealing foundations’ instrumental power relationships with neighbourhood-based non-profits (in particular, Community Development Corporations, CDCs) but also evidencing how philanthropy of place extends beyond foundation relationships with beneficiary organizations to foundations’ role as regime members in the governance of neighbourhood revitalization through crafting policy agendas. It concludes by examining the (potential) role of foundations in enabling scope for social change through civil society agency. Philanthropic foundation actors within city governance Debates about the role of foundation actors in the state-society relationships of city governance are usefully framed by two differing interpretations. One sees network governance as a way to overcome bureaucratic rigidity and market inequity by incorporating a wide range of groups into policymaking, enabling capacity to address complex urban problems as well as enhancing democratic legitimacy (Rhodes, 1997; Stoker, 2004). The other sees network governance arrangements as reflecting the dominance of a neoliberal urban polity, shaped by cooperative relationships between economic and institutional urban elites (Geddes, 2006; Davies, 2011). Regime theory refines this dualism (Blanco, 2015) given its emphasis on the need to mobilize those with the requisite resource to tackle a problem effectively (Stone, 2005). Regime theory’s ‘social production model’ of power posits ‘power to’ rather than ‘power over’ (Stone, 1989: 229) as city governments lack the resources and capacities to pursue public policy on their own. Thus, regime composition varies according to the city’s actors and the resources they can contribute to develop and deliver a policy agenda. Whilst regime theory is often interpreted as referring to longstanding informal coalitions comprising local public officials and corporate elites (Stone, 2005), other private (albeit non-profit) actors such as philanthropies (Davies and Pill, 2012a) tend to prevail in cities in decline which lack a significant corporate presence. Indeed, in revisiting the salience of regime theory, Stone (2015: 111) recognizes that ‘civic leadership has become more diffuse’ and that in some cities philanthropic foundations have become more ‘substantial players’, particularly in the realm of community development of disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Focusing on the role of philanthropies enables consideration of their potential to undermine, enhance or transform civil society action. Foundation support to a neighbourhood non-profit may be co-optative (e.g. specified project delivery), alluding to the neoliberal interpretation of governance. Or it may be agency-enhancing (e.g. funding community organizing activities), alluding to the network interpretation. Or foundations may support a mixture of activities with different implications for civil society agency. It should also be noted that non-profits within a foundation funding relationship may combine acquiescence to co-optation with occasions where an oppositional or autonomous stance is taken (as far as this is possible to sustain), though this is not the focus here. Considering the role played by philanthropic foundation actors in city governance brings to the fore broader debates about the contestability of ‘civil society’, informed by two contrasting conceptions. In the Tocquevillian tradition, civil society is viewed as a defence against the state, a conception which dovetails with the ‘home rule’ traditions of self-governance in the US (Edwards, 2014). But such a state-civil society dichotomy does not illuminate the complex role of philanthropies in US city governance as effectively as the Gramscian perspective (Buttigieg, 2005). Buttigieg critiques theorizing of civil society as an ‘automonous terrain that… defends itself against the incursions of the State’ (2005: 44). He argues this interpretation elides the complex, interdependent relations between the state and civil society illuminated by considering the operations of hegemony. As theorized by Antonio Gramsci, hegemony is achieved through leadership and persuasion inculcating consensus. Crucial is that leadership is not exercised solely or even primarily from the seat of government but from within the sphere of civil society where consensus is generated. This is pithily captured in Gramsci’s concept of the integral state, ‘State = political society [or government] + civil society’ (1971: 263, cited in Buttigieg, 2005). Thus civil society ‘is the arena wherein the prevailing hegemony is constantly being reinforced, not just contested’ (Buttigieg, 2005: 38). Some critical scholars apply a Gramscian perspective to foundations, Roelofs (2007: 480) describing them as ‘prime constructors of hegemony’. She aligns with the neoliberal interpretation of governance by stressing that networks obscure asymmetries in power and influence (2007: 501), and alludes to regime theory in describing ‘the extensive collaboration among the resource-providing elites’ and associated dependency of grassroots organizations (2007: 502). It is such dependency that underscores the need for rigour in applying the conception of ‘civil society’ to the organizations that philanthropies fund and support. As established, the Tocquevillian tradition prominent in the US posits that civil society is a site where people can ‘organise themselves independently of (or at least beyond) state direction’ (Calhoun, 1993: 271). Therefore membership of civil society is contingent not only upon the structure of an organization but upon how it acts. Voluntary associative activity is generally agreed to be a core component of civil society practice, but membership of this realm becomes less definitive as organizations become more formal and professionalised, moving away from their grassroots origins. Critical scholars such as Kohl-Arenas stress that philanthropic sponsors facilitate this shift by promoting ‘theoretical frameworks, institutional arrangements, and professionalised practices’ (2016: 176) that constrain grassroots leadership, leading to reinforcement rather than contestation of the prevailing hegemony. In terms of neighbourhood revitalization, it is therefore helpful to make a distinction between voluntary neighbourhood associations, ‘freely formed membership groups relying largely on volunteers’ at ‘the heart of civil society’ (Ostrander, 2013: 521) with more formal and hierarchical neighbourhood-based non-profit organizations, such as CDCs. Members of both groupings could be enrolled into, work with given their alignment to, or operate in opposition to or autonomously from the ethos of the regime at city level. A common theme in the literature is that the more formal, professionalised organizations such as CDCs are more likely to be enrolled or co-opted given their reliance on regime resource. The very act of engaging with philanthropy may constrain the organization’s agency, or ability to ‘exercis[e] choice and autonomy about when and how to act… including cooperation, opposition or, simply, operating separately’ (Ostrander, 2013: 512). In this perspective, an organization’s capacity to exercise its own agency in deciding whether or how to enter into collaborative relations (Taylor, 2007) is regarded as essential to its membership of civil society. Refining the definition is important as it avoids ‘romanticising’ civil society’s ability to act as a counterweight to the state and market (McQuarrie, 2013), as perceived in the inclusive, democratic interpretation of network governance and assumed in the Tocquevillian tradition. The alternative interpretation, wherein urban elite actors have instrumentalised organizations to achieve their goals, is a useful starting point for considering the role of foundation actors. When does foundation commitment to building civil society participation enable organizations to be able to choose to collaborate with or challenge regime actors (DeFilippis, Fisher and Shragge, 2009), or in Gramscian terms, to reinforce or contest the prevailing hegemony? A focus on different forms of philanthropy of place enables these questions to be considered more systematically in the realm of neighbourhood revitalization, before considering the prevalence of these forms in two cities and the implications for the agency of neighbourhood-based organizations. Philanthropy of place The focus on the role of philanthropies in US urban governance necessitates a framing of philanthropy in terms of what is here broadly termed ‘philanthropy of place’. In the US, attempts at place-targeted strategies date from the 1960s. The hand of philanthropy, particularly that of the Ford Foundation, in federal policy formulation is clear. Its pilot programmes became ‘a working model of the Federal Government’s Great Society program’ (Magat, 1979 cited in Roelofs, 2007: 494). Initiatives such as the Community Action and Model Cities programmes sought to counter the perceived shortcomings of centralized responses to poverty and later spurred federal legislation enabling creation of CDCs, which initially tended to combine physical development of housing and business premises along with education, job training, health services and even community organizing. In the 1970s CDCs were boosted by the federal Community Development Block Grant enacted in 1975 as part of Nixon’s New Federalism, under which entitled cities had discretion to disburse funds under broad guidelines. But CDC development was also assisted by the support of local and national foundations, whose role in development of the so-called ‘independent sector’ had been pinpointed by the (Filer) Commission on Private Philanthropy and Public Needs (1975). The Commission asserted the need for the sector to ‘experiment, foster citizenship through voluntarism, assist public agencies in delivering services, and act as a counterweight to centralised government power’ (Filer, 1975: 42–48, cited in Zunz, 2012: 237–38). The Commission introduced the term ‘third sector’ to refer to voluntary associations, charitable organizations and philanthropic foundations though the term ‘non-profit’ became widely adopted (as most institutions share the ‘non-profit’ tax code, ‘501(c)3’). Hall (1992: 38, cited in Roelofs, 2007: 483) saw the Commission as the start of ‘all charitable tax-exempt agencies, from giant grant makers through grassroots activist organisations [being] treated as part of a unified nonprofit sector’. In turn, in describing this sector as the ‘institutional voice of American civil society… worthy substitutes for the associations Tocqueville heralded as engines of American liberty’ (Zunz, 2012: 263), the assumption that such organizations can retain their independence and agency in order to provide a counterbalance to the state is clear. Foundation support included the growth of the national financial intermediaries, LISC (the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, initially a Ford Foundation offshoot) and Enterprise, both of which channel funds to CDCs, whose emphasis became more focused on physical development. Roelofs (2007: 485) thus pinpoints the role of philanthropy in fragmenting radical activism into neighbourhood-based organizations reliant on grant funding. CDCs were increasingly regarded by philanthropies as a ‘positive and civil way of achieving neighbourhood renewal’ (McQuarrie, 2013: 81) in contrast to oppositional community organizing. In the 1980s, the ‘local elitist mode of policy formation’ (Peck, 1998: 28) was furthered by the ‘de facto devolution’ of federal retrenchment (DiGaetano and Strom, 2003). Martin (2004: 394) describes the ‘increasing privatism’ of the ‘neighbourhood policy regime’ comprising the local state, foundations and CDCs. The resultant place-targeted or -based foundation philanthropy has taken a variety of forms (as set out in Table 1), identified through review of key research on the role of philanthropies in neighbourhood revitalization (particularly by scholars at the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall Center and participants in the Aspen Institute’s Roundtable on Community Change). Each form has different implications for the extent to which organizations are co-opted into or enabled to contest the prevailing hegemony (addressed below). Its diversity in part relates to the variety of philanthropies. Private foundations, usually funded from a single source, can be independent, family or corporate. Independents are not governed by a benefactor, a benefactor’s family or a corporation. The donor or donor’s relatives play a role in managing or governing family foundations. Corporates derive their charitable funds directly from businesses. In contrast, public (or community) foundations are inherently place-based as they benefit the residents of a defined geographic area. These foundations pool the resources of local donors and funds from a variety of sources into an endowment, the interest accrued from which is distributed for the area’s betterment. About 700 operate in the US, bequeathing around $4 billion annually (Foundation Center, 2012). Table 1 Philanthropy of place Place-targeted 1. Comprehensive Community Initiatives Multi-city, time-limited, neighbourhood-targeted ‘community building’ initiatives sponsored (remotely) by national private philanthropic foundations Ford Foundation Neighborhood and Family Initiative Chaskin (2005); Casey Foundation New Futures and Making Connections initiatives; Hewlett Foundation’s Neighborhood Improvement Initiative Karlstrom et al. (2009). Place-based 2. Host-led initiatives Single city, generally time-limited, neighbourhood-targeted initiatives sponsored by a local private foundation; or a national foundation/intermediary with a ‘home town’ focus MacArthur Foundation (with LISC Chicago) New Communities Program Chaskin and Greenberg (2015); Cleveland (Community) Foundation Community Building Initiative (CCBI); Knight Foundation, Miami; McKnight Foundation, Minneapolis; Casey Foundation East Baltimore Development Initiative (EBDI) Auspos et al. (2008). 3. Embedded Karlstrom et al. (2007) Local (private or public) foundations in long-term engagement with neighbourhood-based communities with ambition to diminish power differential Humboldt Area (Community) Foundation, northwest California; Jacobs Family Foundation, San Diego; Denver (Community) Foundation; Piton Foundation, Denver Karlstrom et al. (2009). 4. Localist leverage Local foundations working with ‘ed and med’ anchor institutions to develop systems to lever anchors’ employment and procurement activities to benefit local neighbourhoods and businesses Baltimore Integration Partnership BIP (nd); Chicago Anchors for a Strong Economy CASE (nd); Midtown Detroit Inc MDI (nd). 5. Community ownership Imbroscio (2013) Seeking to use anchor institution procurement to catalyze neighbouring community-based cooperatives Cleveland (Community) Foundation, Evergreen Cooperative Initiative, Greater University Circle, Cleveland Imbroscio (2013). Place-targeted 1. Comprehensive Community Initiatives Multi-city, time-limited, neighbourhood-targeted ‘community building’ initiatives sponsored (remotely) by national private philanthropic foundations Ford Foundation Neighborhood and Family Initiative Chaskin (2005); Casey Foundation New Futures and Making Connections initiatives; Hewlett Foundation’s Neighborhood Improvement Initiative Karlstrom et al. (2009). Place-based 2. Host-led initiatives Single city, generally time-limited, neighbourhood-targeted initiatives sponsored by a local private foundation; or a national foundation/intermediary with a ‘home town’ focus MacArthur Foundation (with LISC Chicago) New Communities Program Chaskin and Greenberg (2015); Cleveland (Community) Foundation Community Building Initiative (CCBI); Knight Foundation, Miami; McKnight Foundation, Minneapolis; Casey Foundation East Baltimore Development Initiative (EBDI) Auspos et al. (2008). 3. Embedded Karlstrom et al. (2007) Local (private or public) foundations in long-term engagement with neighbourhood-based communities with ambition to diminish power differential Humboldt Area (Community) Foundation, northwest California; Jacobs Family Foundation, San Diego; Denver (Community) Foundation; Piton Foundation, Denver Karlstrom et al. (2009). 4. Localist leverage Local foundations working with ‘ed and med’ anchor institutions to develop systems to lever anchors’ employment and procurement activities to benefit local neighbourhoods and businesses Baltimore Integration Partnership BIP (nd); Chicago Anchors for a Strong Economy CASE (nd); Midtown Detroit Inc MDI (nd). 5. Community ownership Imbroscio (2013) Seeking to use anchor institution procurement to catalyze neighbouring community-based cooperatives Cleveland (Community) Foundation, Evergreen Cooperative Initiative, Greater University Circle, Cleveland Imbroscio (2013). Table 1 Philanthropy of place Place-targeted 1. Comprehensive Community Initiatives Multi-city, time-limited, neighbourhood-targeted ‘community building’ initiatives sponsored (remotely) by national private philanthropic foundations Ford Foundation Neighborhood and Family Initiative Chaskin (2005); Casey Foundation New Futures and Making Connections initiatives; Hewlett Foundation’s Neighborhood Improvement Initiative Karlstrom et al. (2009). Place-based 2. Host-led initiatives Single city, generally time-limited, neighbourhood-targeted initiatives sponsored by a local private foundation; or a national foundation/intermediary with a ‘home town’ focus MacArthur Foundation (with LISC Chicago) New Communities Program Chaskin and Greenberg (2015); Cleveland (Community) Foundation Community Building Initiative (CCBI); Knight Foundation, Miami; McKnight Foundation, Minneapolis; Casey Foundation East Baltimore Development Initiative (EBDI) Auspos et al. (2008). 3. Embedded Karlstrom et al. (2007) Local (private or public) foundations in long-term engagement with neighbourhood-based communities with ambition to diminish power differential Humboldt Area (Community) Foundation, northwest California; Jacobs Family Foundation, San Diego; Denver (Community) Foundation; Piton Foundation, Denver Karlstrom et al. (2009). 4. Localist leverage Local foundations working with ‘ed and med’ anchor institutions to develop systems to lever anchors’ employment and procurement activities to benefit local neighbourhoods and businesses Baltimore Integration Partnership BIP (nd); Chicago Anchors for a Strong Economy CASE (nd); Midtown Detroit Inc MDI (nd). 5. Community ownership Imbroscio (2013) Seeking to use anchor institution procurement to catalyze neighbouring community-based cooperatives Cleveland (Community) Foundation, Evergreen Cooperative Initiative, Greater University Circle, Cleveland Imbroscio (2013). Place-targeted 1. Comprehensive Community Initiatives Multi-city, time-limited, neighbourhood-targeted ‘community building’ initiatives sponsored (remotely) by national private philanthropic foundations Ford Foundation Neighborhood and Family Initiative Chaskin (2005); Casey Foundation New Futures and Making Connections initiatives; Hewlett Foundation’s Neighborhood Improvement Initiative Karlstrom et al. (2009). Place-based 2. Host-led initiatives Single city, generally time-limited, neighbourhood-targeted initiatives sponsored by a local private foundation; or a national foundation/intermediary with a ‘home town’ focus MacArthur Foundation (with LISC Chicago) New Communities Program Chaskin and Greenberg (2015); Cleveland (Community) Foundation Community Building Initiative (CCBI); Knight Foundation, Miami; McKnight Foundation, Minneapolis; Casey Foundation East Baltimore Development Initiative (EBDI) Auspos et al. (2008). 3. Embedded Karlstrom et al. (2007) Local (private or public) foundations in long-term engagement with neighbourhood-based communities with ambition to diminish power differential Humboldt Area (Community) Foundation, northwest California; Jacobs Family Foundation, San Diego; Denver (Community) Foundation; Piton Foundation, Denver Karlstrom et al. (2009). 4. Localist leverage Local foundations working with ‘ed and med’ anchor institutions to develop systems to lever anchors’ employment and procurement activities to benefit local neighbourhoods and businesses Baltimore Integration Partnership BIP (nd); Chicago Anchors for a Strong Economy CASE (nd); Midtown Detroit Inc MDI (nd). 5. Community ownership Imbroscio (2013) Seeking to use anchor institution procurement to catalyze neighbouring community-based cooperatives Cleveland (Community) Foundation, Evergreen Cooperative Initiative, Greater University Circle, Cleveland Imbroscio (2013). Comprehensive community initiatives The 1990s saw private philanthropies attempting time-limited, multi-city, neighbourhood-targeted Comprehensive Community Initiatives (CCIs) operationalised via grant-making and partnering with local ‘intermediaries’. The stated aim of such ‘community building’ approaches was to ameliorate neighbourhood poverty through developing residents’ participation in building community capacity (Chaskin et al., 2001), thus assuming the ability of target communities to engage in self-help strategies including gaining increased influence within a city’s power relationships. Key nationally operating foundations such as Ford and Casey had ‘community building’ divisions, and the philanthropic sector invested significant resource (e.g. Casey invested $550 million in its 10-year, 10 site Making Connections initiative). Ford’s 10-year neighbourhood and family initiative sought to improve quality of life in poor, principally African American neighbourhoods in four cities. Ford developed the initiative framework and a city-based community foundation acted as intermediary, identifying the target neighbourhood and convening an informal neighbourhood collaborative. Ford’s goals were broadly stated with an intent that outcomes and approaches to achieve these would be determined locally, indicating at least some, bounded agency. However, in assessing the neighbourhood and family initiative, Chaskin (2005) identified tensions between the ideology of collective, consensual decision-making and pressure for progress towards particular outcomes. He found that ‘power dynamics are pervasive’ (Chaskin, 2005: 418) with neighbourhood activities shaped to meet the demands of funders. As Kohl-Arenas’ (2016: 179) asserts, capacity building makes organizations ‘fundable while simultaneously limiting their ability to organise’. Thus these approaches can be regarded as co-optative despite their stated intent to build community capacity, as the capacity generated reinforces hegemony rather than enabling contestation. Host-led initiatives Lessons drawn from the failure of CCIs to achieve change in key outcomes included the need for ‘deep foundation engagement in the community’ (Kubisch et al., 2011). Attention turned to single city neighbourhood-targeted initiatives led by ‘anchored’ local foundations (or nationally operating large foundations in a ‘home town’), rather than the place-targeted CCIs led by ‘outsider’ foundations (Chaskin, 2003). An example is the four pilot cities (of Living Cities, a consortium of national financial intermediaries, private foundations, and public sector organizations) in which a ‘host’, locally based, private foundation (listed in Table 1) shaped and supported an initiative, provided resources, and sought to leverage the support of other partners (Auspos et al., 2008). The East Baltimore Development Initiative (EBDI) example (below) illustrates that this type is open to the same co-optative critique as levelled at the CCI approach, as foundation support enrolled civil society into the neoliberal priorities of the city’s elites. In explaining how the local state can use such approaches to ‘pursue neighbourhood development more efficiently – through partnerships with foundations, local businesses, CDCs, and neighbourhood-based community groups’ (2004: 443), Fraser alludes to Gramsci’s integrated state. Embedded philanthropy ‘Embedded philanthropy’ is defined by Karlstrom et al. (2007) as place-based but with ‘an unusually intimate and long-term engagement with communities’. It is distinct from the place-targeted efforts of CCIs sponsored by the large private foundations operating remotely, but it is also not merely about a philanthropy being place-based, as with host-led initiatives. It is different because foundations who have adopted this approach stress their ambition to diminish the power differential with their ‘community partners’ that philanthropic relationships inevitably entail. This indicates a willingness to develop, sustain and support the agency of the organizations with which they engage, alluding to Ostrander’s (2013) conception of civil society membership. Two of the four embedded philanthropies (Table 1) are community foundations, unsurprising given their implicit anchorage. Their approaches to neighbourhood revitalization vary but share a commitment not only to community engagement but community leadership in targeted, deprived neighbourhoods. For example, following an initial focus on fostering informal community groups through small grants and other supports, latterly the Denver (Community) Foundation’s Strengthening Neighborhoods programme extended support to community organizing as the need to build an activist ‘mobilisation infrastructure’ to enable community leadership became evident (Karlstrom et al., 2009: 55) as a more direct, intentional way of seeking to rebalance power relationships in the city. Such an approach aligns with the ‘governing non-profits’ described by Hula, Jackson and Orr (1997) whose core goal is seeking participation in and having an impact upon local political agendas. In Detroit, Hula and Jackson-Elmoore (2001) found that such organizations provided a mechanism for incorporating minority views, such as those of the predominantly African American deprived communities whose neighbourhoods often form the target for revitalization initiatives, into the political process. In the ‘Diamond’ neighbourhoods of San Diego, the Jacobs Family Foundation transferred ownership of assets arising from site redevelopment to the community via a resident designed and run community foundation (Karlstrom et al., 2009: 57), decreasing external resource dependency and its concomitant risk of co-optation. In sum, Karlstrom et al. (2009: 55) found that the foundations’ support of engagement extended from voluntarism to activism, and that they also sought to use their own relationships and influence to make powerful regime actors more responsive. The approach therefore aligns with Stone’s (2015: 113) contention from a regime theory perspective that foundation support for community development in disadvantaged neighbourhoods does provide (some) scope for marginalized populations to gain a heightened presence in city governance. It thus alludes to the network rather than neoliberal interpretation of urban governance. As such, this is the form of philanthropy that most clearly shows potential for enabling civil society agency to contest hegemony. Localist leverage Imbroscio (2013) posited a localist paradigm shift, here referred to as ‘localist leverage’ given the focus on leveraging local assets rather than neoliberal attempts to attract growth. Philanthropies continue to play a major role, and in so doing are aligning with elements of embedded philanthropic practice by being locally anchored and ‘in it for the long haul’. Where the emphasis differs is embedded philanthropy’s emphasis on enabling civil society agency and activism, while localist leverage seeks to lever the procurement and employment activities of a city’s anchor institutions (so-named as once established they tend not to move location). Deindustrialization, the rise of the service sector, and mounting ‘fiscal squeeze’ have increased the importance of anchor institutions to local economies. The largest and most numerous are universities and hospitals (‘eds and meds’) (Community Wealth, nd). This normatively appealing approach is becoming evident in several cities in decline in the US (including Baltimore, below), indicating collaboration between anchored foundations and ‘ed and med’ institutions to locally contain purchasing power to the benefit of the city and particularly the anchor’s proximate deprived neighbourhoods. As such, the approach aligns with Stone’s (2015: 111) assertion of increasing regime reliance on ‘opportunistic assemblages of resources’ at city level. But it represents an alignment with rather than contestation of hegemony, as it requires a consensus which de-politicises collective action and disrupts the search for systematic change (Kohl-Arenas, 2016: 166). However, some see scope for more transformative change if there is community ownership of the organizations meeting anchor procurement needs (Imbroscio, 2013). Community ownership Imbroscio extends the localist paradigm to posit the ‘alternative market model’ of the ‘ownership paradigm’ (2013). He illustrates this using the Cleveland Evergreen Initiative, launched in 2008 by the Cleveland Community Foundation, along with a city-based private family foundation, ‘ed and med’ anchors and city government (EVGOH, nd). The initiative seeks to leverage anchor procurement with development of a network of community-based, employee-owned cooperatives in the deprived, predominantly African American Greater University Circle neighbourhoods. It heralds a shift in the prevailing policy approach championed by a key city foundation and in the type of organization selected as delivery agent (rather than the CDCs typically used as regime neighbourhood intermediaries). However, it does not necessarily herald a shift in the capacity of the organizations selected/developed through this approach to contest whether or how to enter into collaborative relations. The three cooperatives established have relied on city regime resource in the form of foundation grants and government-guaranteed credit. The procurement relationships sought with powerful actors in the city regime delineate organizational agency, reiterating Kohl-Arenas’ warning about reliance on consensus (2016). ‘Outsider’ voices who may reject this particular model are likely to continue to be contained by lack of resource and influence. Other forms of community ownership, such as resulting from asset transfer as with the San Diego embedded philanthropy example above, point to ways in which deprived communities can become more self-determining through decreasing reliance on outside resource (or procurement relationships). This is more likely to enable their agency in seeking voice in a more networked form of city governance. The typology of philanthropy of place captures its evolution over time as learnings have led to more place-embedded approaches to neighbourhood revitalization. But the typology should be regarded as a continuum rather than an inevitable progression, at points along which different approaches by different foundations in different cities are located. In turn, the types are not mutually exclusive and elements may be combined in hybrid forms, for example combining the co-optative inclinations of foundation-specified delivery inherent in CCIs with the agency-enabling aspects of support for community organizing indicated by embedded approaches. These aspects of the typology will be considered when it is applied in the following two city cases of foundations’ role in neighbourhood revitalization. Philanthropic foundations’ instrumental role in civil society As addressed above, the different types of philanthropy of place have different implications for the agency of neighbourhood organizations. Foundation actors can subvert or assist the agency of the organizations they support and their constituent deprived communities. Thus foundations can be conceptualized as: elite actors seeking the enrolment or co-optation of the organizations they support (as expressed in the CCI, host-led initiative and localist leverage types above); progressive actors seeking to enable beneficiary organizations to exert their own agency (the embedded type); or as adopting a hybrid approach, combining co-optative and agency-enhancing forms of support (potentially the community ownership type). These views are now considered by a brief examination of the role of foundations in Baltimore and Cleveland – selected as cities in decline which have been the focus of significant foundation activity targeting neighbourhoods. The analysis derives from a review of prior primary research (in Baltimore) and secondary literature sources. As set out in Table 1, it focuses on philanthropy of place in the realm of neighbourhood revitalization – foundations in both cities have also engaged in a wide range of other initiatives in policy realms such as education and health. Both cities have undergone decades of neoliberal urbanism, following the trend to a privatist, urban regime mode of city governance (Stone, 2005). As the cities’ corporate presence has shrunk their philanthropies have played an expanded role. In terms of types of philanthropy of place, neither city was selected as a site for the first type – CCIs sponsored by the national foundations operating remotely prevalent in the 1990s. But both had the second type, host-led initiatives (CCBI and EBDI, see Table 1) and both have more recently undergone a shift to the fourth type of localist leverage approaches, which in Cleveland have extended to the fifth type of community ownership. Explicit adoption of (the third type) embedded philanthropy practice is not evident, though some foundations provide general operating support for organizations in addition to funding specified project delivery, underlining the scope for hybrid forms of support. Importantly, the focus on these cities reveals the extent to which philanthropy of place extends beyond foundation relationships with beneficiary neighbourhood-based organizations as captured in Table 1, to foundations’ role as regime members in the governance of neighbourhood revitalization through crafting (as well as delivering) the policy agenda. In Baltimore since 2000 justificatory narratives about the need for the ‘greater realism’ of market-based approaches had transformative effects on the city’s regime of city government and private, non-profit actors – the city’s ‘eds and meds’ and its local, or locally based, philanthropic foundations (Davies and Pill, 2012a). The crucial change was the adoption of a mainstream ‘asset-based’ mode of resource allocation, championed by the Goldseker Foundation, founded in 1975 with a bequest from a local real estate investor. The approach was subsequently adopted by the City of Baltimore as the basis for city planning and resource allocation, demonstrating direct foundation influence on regime neighbourhood policy and practice. It is manifested spatially via a typology of housing markets ranging from ‘stressed’ (subject to demolition for site assembly), through ‘the middle’ (where interventions seek to ‘help the market’, such as supporting homeownership) to ‘regionally competitive’ neighbourhoods (not requiring intervention). Crucially, foundation support maintains the asset-based rationale for resource allocation, thus favouring the physical development activities of CDCs, and ‘pro-market’ approaches of other non-profits (such as encouraging homeownership), whilst acculturating and co-opting them into the market-based ethos of the governance regime. Therefore, Baltimore’s local philanthropic actors reinforce the spatial governance captured in the housing typology through their support for non-profits operating in neighbourhoods in ‘the middle’. The policy adopted is one of withdrawal from those neighbourhoods deemed unmarketable (Davies and Pill, 2012b), compounding their lack of resource and lack of agency and voice in city governance. Baltimore’s most significant philanthropic actor is the nationally operating, private Casey Foundation. As the foundation’s ‘hometown’, Baltimore is regarded as a ‘civic site’ (AECF, nd). But Casey’s place-based approach (a pilot under the host-led Living Cities initiative) does not align with the ethos of embedded philanthropy. This is demonstrated by its involvement in the EBDI megaproject (anchored by the city’s principal ‘ed and med’ institution, Johns Hopkins). Here Casey presented itself as advocating on behalf of the ‘stressed’ neighbourhood’s (predominantly African American) residents, many of whom were displaced by site clearance operations. But the foundation’s approach aligned with the regime’s strategy, co-opting residents into the prevailing discourse rather than assisting them in challenging it (Davies and Pill, 2012b). In his study of Cleveland’s civil society from the 1970s ‘backyard revolution’ to the 2008 economic crisis, McQuarrie (2013) reiterates the instrumental role of philanthropic actors. As in Baltimore, the city’s regime of philanthropies and city government deigned property value the metric for neighbourhood well-being and adopted a physical redevelopment approach. CDCs were enrolled on ‘a wave of legitimacy and funding’ (McQuarrie, 2013: 80) while those elements of the city’s civil society that could not (or chose not to) contribute did not gain resource. An intermediary organization which channels funding from the city’s philanthropies to its CDCs is identified as the most ‘active agent in rationalising Cleveland’s civil society’ (McQuarrie, 2013:87). Its funding criteria were adopted by the city’s Department of Community Development, a sign of its policy-creating influence mirrored by the City of Baltimore’s adoption of the philanthropy-championed housing typology. This instrumentalisation of CDCs constrained their ability to be responsive to their communities and reduced civil society diversity due to the need to conform to models sought by funders to survive. McQuarrie (2013) concludes that the resultant ‘civic monoculture’ compromised the city’s resilience to the economic crisis, despite the extensive support disbursed over the years by national and local intermediaries and philanthropies. Therefore in both cities philanthropic actors have become key members of the urban regime. They have played a formative role in creating neighbourhood revitalization policy, establishing property values as the key metric. These policies align with the ‘neoliberal convergence of policy advice’ which has legitimated spatial policy approaches which seek to deconcentrate poverty and attract the middle class (Rose et al., 2013). Foundations have also been key in policy delivery, selecting CDCs as the primary non-profit organizations to be ‘community partners’ in delivering specified projects. Whilst foundation actors in both cities do engage in other forms of support (e.g. Baltimore’s Goldseker Foundation provides general operating support for some organizations in neighbourhoods where leadership is deemed lacking), the overall tenor is one of consensus rather than the development of agency as sought in embedded philanthropic practice. Therefore the cities’ foundations are elite actors which have sought the enrolment or co-optation of the non-profits they select to support. Relationships with philanthropies have professionalised these organizations and distanced them from grassroots, community activism approaches. In terms of Ostrander’s (2013) definition, it is therefore questionable whether these organizations can continue to claim membership of civil society, as their capacity to exercise their own agency has been compromised. These findings are supported by research in other cities which finds that CDCs struggle to contest the futures of their communities. As development-focused entities dependent upon capital, CDCs are not resourced or designed to ‘rescale the contest’ to modify their policy environment (Scally, 2012), constraining ‘resident-centred paths of neighbourhood change’ (Newman and Ashton, 2004: 1165). However, Cleveland provides the key example (the Evergreen Cooperative initiative) used by Imbroscio (2013) to posit both the ‘localist’ and subsequent ‘community ownership’ types of philanthropy of place. The broader adoption of ‘localist leverage’ with its development of local employment and procurement policies is already evident in Baltimore as elsewhere (Table 1). The Baltimore Integration Partnership (again supported by Living Cities, which piloted host-led initiatives) comprises local philanthropies and anchor institutions, including Johns Hopkins (university and health system), which in 2015 launched HopkinsLocal (Johns Hopkins, nd), a hiring and purchasing initiative. Adoption of the bolder community ownership approach would require a more radical shift in policy agenda but would still not necessarily engender more balanced power relations between city governance elites and community-based organizations given their dependence on initial funding support and their need to maintain ongoing procurement relationships. Both cities demonstrate that embedded philanthropic practice, with its commitment to fostering agency, remains elusive in the realm of neighbourhood revitalization. Conclusion Foundations have the potential to contain or enable neighbourhood-based organizations to contest the future of their communities, or in Gramscian terms, to reinforce or contest the prevailing hegemony. This article has explored this more systematically via development of a typology of philanthropy of place and a brief exploration of foundations’ role in neighbourhood revitalization in two cities. Embedded philanthropic practices are founded on civil society agency, but most place-targeted or -based philanthropies have not pursued this model (as revealed by the review of the role of philanthropies in neighbourhood revitalization and application of the typology above). Considering Baltimore and Cleveland shows that philanthropic foundations play an important, twofold role in the governance of cities in which they are embedded: not only as an important source of funding and support for neighbourhood-based organizations, but in contributing to the creation of neighbourhood revitalization policy agendas, especially in cities in decline within which they are becoming more significant as they have resource which gives them the ‘power to’ do so (Stone, 2005). But the policy approaches adopted, and the types of organizations enrolled into their delivery, have tended to align with the prevailing neoliberal policy discourse rather than revealing foundation actors as progressive activists who assist the organizations they support in exerting (potentially oppositional and/or transformative) agency via the practices of embedded philanthropy. These findings assert the need for rigour in defining what constitutes civil society. Gramsci’s concept of the integral state comprising the government and civil society enables the inclusion of philanthropies as state actors. This aligns with regime theory in the sense that the ‘regime’ comprises city government and other elites with the power to determine policy agendas. Thus, if foundations are engaged with other elites within the regime they can be regarded as part of the state in Gramscian terms. But if they pursue embedded philanthropic practices, enabling the agency of their beneficiaries, arguably foundation actors can claim to align with the Tocquevillian notion of being part of a civil society sphere which provides a counterbalance to the state (and market), especially when both are aligned in the pursuit of neoliberal urban policies, and neighbourhood-based organizations are potentially the source of creative, alternative approaches. Therefore it is their practice which informs which conception of civil society is most appropriate for philanthropies embedded in cities. Power differentials are inevitable between foundations and their beneficiaries. In the city cases, beneficiaries have been enrolled into the prevailing hegemony. Those not selected for assistance, or who choose to reject it, may be consigned to ‘the doghouse of the city’s philanthropies and politicians’ (McQuarrie, 2013: 95) – a combination of actors which reinforces Gramsci’s integral state – but will have retained their agency and thus arguably their ability to lay claim to be part of ‘civil society’. If they can survive they may become the source of alternatives to the neoliberal narrative. In turn, local foundation actors can choose to support or resist such shifts. It is contended here that those pursuing embedded philanthropic practices are more likely to be supportive as they seek to inculcate community activism and leadership and consciously cede power and relinquish technocratic management techniques. For example, foundation support could extend from CDCs delivering neighbourhood (physical) development to funding streams for community organizing or development of neighbourhood-based ‘governing non-profits’ (Hula et al., 1997) with the mission of gaining access to and influence within the city governance regime. In turn, transfer of assets to communities can provide a revenue stream easing (external) resource dependency and the associated danger of co-optation. Kohl-Arenas (2016: 176) concludes that partnerships between foundations and grassroots organizations are ‘ultimately untenable’ as they constrain grassroots leadership. But as Berndtson (2007: 587) asserts, critical scholars should defend liberal foundations ‘in order to maintain the possibilities for social change’. In the realm of neighbourhood revitalization, it is posited that the practices of embedded philanthropy provide ways in which foundations can seek to realize these possibilities. 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Published: Jun 16, 2017
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