Cities as a Unique Frame for Philanthropy

A new donor initiative from the Tides Foundation asks:

What do we lose when all of our urban centers start to look the same?

How can we connect urban development with green jobs, better schools and affordable housing?

Donors can download Tide's newest report, The Right to the City, which frames options for leveraging the unique challenges and opportunities faced by cities.

I will be doing another interview for MayorTV today with Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan, of Gainesville, Florida to explore some of these issues, particularly as they relate to smaller cities like hers. (In addition to the interview posted here with Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, check out other interviews I conducted with mayors in Boston, Miami, LA, Denver, Salt Lake City, Buffalo, Rochester and Baltimore at

Also utilizing this frame is the Living Cities Initiative "... a philanthropic, corporate and public sector partnership established to bring opportunities and the power of mainstream markets to urban neighborhoods and residents historically left behind." No, Living Cities, I did not know city residents weigh less and have lower blood pressure than their suburban counterparts!

I predict this urban frame will gain increasing momentum in philanthropy. It's also sure to grow in mainstream media coverage of the election as we move from rural states like Iowa and New Hampshire to more urban states. Eighty percent of of Americans live in cities and we are unified in many of our concerns regardless of whether we live "red" states and "blue" states.

Note: And while my interviews for MayorTV focus primarily on what the presidential candidates should be talking about relative to cities, I will be re-editing them for an upcoming episode of "Dialogue for Donors."

Susan Herr

Posted at 8:04 PM, Jan 10, 2008 in Cross-Sectoral Strategies | Environment | High Net Worth Donors | Philanthropic Strategy | Permalink | Comment