Project Description

Mapping philanthropic foundations’ characteristics: towards an international integrative framework of foundation types

Tobias Jung, Jenny Harrow and Diana Leat

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 2018, 47(5):893-917

Also part of the NVSQ Editor’s Choice Top Articles from 2018-2019 Virtual Special Issue

Abstract: As philanthropic foundations take on increasingly prominent socio-political roles, the need for stronger conceptualizations of foundations as an organizational form is articulated widely across academic, policy and practice contexts. Building on institutional research’s tradition of categorizing, classifying and typologizing organizational forms, our paper critically explores the different ways in which foundations have been cast and differentiated in international academic and practice literatures. Examining and integrating these, we propose an integrative framework of foundation types. Incorporating 13 categories – three contextual, five organizational and five strategic ones – the framework allows for clarifying distinctions and identifying commonalities between different foundation forms, offering a basis for developing more reflective and differentiated research and practice knowledge.

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