This report shows that our nation now faces five “new realities” that are redefining who we are, where and with whom we live, and how we provide for our own welfare, as well as that of our families and communities. In each of these five areas, the nation reached critical milestones in the 2000s that make those underlying realities too large to ignore any longer. And large metropolitan areas—the collections of cities, suburbs, and rural areas that house two-thirds of America’s population—lay squarely on the front lines of those trends.
A growing number of donors interested in improving the lives of vulnerable children and families are looking for new, innovative ways to make significant, lasting change. Those who will find this publication useful may be new to philanthropy or new to the idea of strategic philanthropy. They may be joining the board of their family’s foundation, or they may be individuals who are looking to jumpstart or revamp their giving portfolio. They may be experienced philanthropists who have been frustrated with the rate of change and hoping that a new approach will get to results faster. This publication is ultimately about partnerships: how individuals and small family foundations can join forces with individuals, organizations, and institutions across the public and private sectors to increase impact. While partnering with foundations or the government is not for everyone, most funders, either brand new to philanthropy or seasoned givers, can benefit from breaking down silos and looking in every direction for like-minded partners.