Giving Compass' Take:

• Crain's Detroit Business discusses the need for a more bottom-up approach to innovation in philanthropy, making sure that experimentation (and the freedom to fail) is always present.

• As the private sector is trying to fill roles traditionally done by government, how can we be better at promoting entrepreneurism in all social endeavors? It will require patience and the ability to collaborate.

• Here's how technology can play a lead role in social problem-solving.

Philanthropy innovations are increasingly stepping in to fill government voids spurred by revenue shortages in Detroit, other parts of Michigan and across the country. And with federal tax reform on the table, philanthropy is likely to feel pressure to do even more. In Detroit, foundations are leading efforts in areas including economic, workforce, and neighborhood development and placemaking. They're also working to change and improve K-12 and early childhood education.


Foundations say they are seeing unprecedented social innovation as they work with government and the private sector to reinvent civic services, correct market failures and position them to be sustained — at some point — by those public and private sectors.

With its increasing shift to filling government voids, philanthropy could be sacrificing the future social innovations needed to tackle society's thorniest social issues, some experts say.


Over the last 100 years, the social contract has evolved so that government has provided a range of critical supports, particularly for the most vulnerable in society, said Dan Cardinali, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based Independent Sector, a national organization that brings together nonprofits, foundations and corporations to advance the common good.

"Philanthropy knows it can't possibly fill gaps, so it has to find innovative ways to address issues."

Read the full article about philanthropy innovation by Sherri Welch from Crain's Detroit Business.