Each case uses a consistent framework that allows the reader to easily navigate them and make comparisons. Concluding Lessons Learned chapter provides a summary of the themes that emerge from the cases and gives the reader an outline of the practical dimensions involved in carrying out nonprofit innovations. Profiles an array of innovative nonprofit organizations from around the world that provides the reader with a balanced picture of the sector and show commonalities between cases that come from different countries, regions, and fields. Discussion questions at the end of each case ask the reader to reflect and analyze the innovation as well think creatively and initiate successful innovations themselves.

Living Cities: Reinventing Philanthropy to Serve Poor Communities

Living cities: Reinventing philanthropy to serve poor communities
Avis C. Vidal

Wayne State University

Living Cities is an innovative philanthropic collaborative of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions with a broad, ambitious mission: to improve the lives of low-income people and the cities where they live.1 It began as a quite different organization in 1991 as the National Community Development Initiative (NCDI)—a uniquely lean, distinctively governed effort to accomplish a tightly targeted goal and then “go out of business.” It is a remarkable example of organizational innovation and adaptation. This chapter examines the three phases in the evolution of this original enterprise, whose name changes track its development.2

The ...

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