The USC-based Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy has published “Foundation Strategy for Social Impact: A System Change Perspective.” The research explores what system change means in the context of foundation strategy and examines how foundations can design strategies that create transformative rather than incremental change. The research defines and presents the essential elements of a system, examines the manner in which system change can be realized, and provides lessons for foundation decision-making and practice.
In addition to their growing interest in leveraging philanthropic assets to create change in society, foundations have increasingly focused on leveraging their resources to create system change in order to achieve broader-based, longer-lasting changes in social outcomes. Yet, confusion persists about what “system change” means and how it might be achieved. This research provides a framework to better understand what a system change approach means in the context of foundation strategy and the implications for foundation practice.
“Foundation Strategy for Social Impact: A System Change Perspective” is available on The Center for Philanthropy and Public Policy website.