Reasons for Hope, Barr Foundation


In a challenging time for our country and world, dozens of foundation presidents join their voices in a campaign promoting hope.

Any act of philanthropy is fundamentally a hopeful one: we invest in people and institutions because we are inspired by their commitment to advance change, and we believe in their potential to make our world a better place. The challenges before us are enormous—and the times we live in seem to erode our confidence in the possibility of a brighter future. Yet, it is precisely at moments like this that we need to remind ourselves of the power of possibility and aspiration.

That is the spirit with which we at the Barr Foundation joined 38 other foundation colleagues across the country in the statement below (“From Our History, Hope”) that appeared in several national and regional newspapers on Sunday, July 31.

Even in moments of crisis and uncertainty, we believe that “ideas, inspiration and action abound.” What sustains that belief and our hope are the remarkable organizations and talented leaders we in foundations are able to support. We are grateful every day for the opportunities we are given to engage with, learn from, and support such courageous leaders. There is no greater privilege.

And yet, it can be easy to let the mechanics of our industry distract us from what hope requires. In our impatience for results, we can get caught up in the need for measurable metrics and tangible outcomes. We can create complex processes that undermine our partners’ ability to be nimble and responsive to change. And in the name of rigor and accountability, we can end up risk-averse in our grantmaking and play it too safe.

That’s why this moment is important. Yes, the challenges are many and the progress often slower than we may like, but if we in the foundation community neglect to embrace hope and to aspire for a better day, our foundations might as well cease to exist.

Yes, this should be a moment for foundations to reaffirm the hope and joy that must infuse our work each and every day. It should also be a moment for us to look critically at what we do and how we do it to ensure our efforts affirm hope and create change for the better.

My #reasonsforhope include my conviction that we in philanthropy can fulfill that promise.

What are your reasons for hope? Join us online to share your contributions by tweeting with the hashtag #reasonsforhope Tweet This

Reasons for Hope Ford Foundation

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