May 2008
EWMI Awarded Mott Foundation Grant for Philanthropication thru Privatization Initiative

A crucial barrier to the development of community foundations and other community-based philanthropic institutions in less-developed regions of the world has been the general lack of capital to underwrite their operations. In many of the same regions where foundation-building efforts are going starved for funds, enormous privatization sales are transferring huge stores of publicly owned assets into private hands. In May 2008, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation awarded EWMI a grant to launch a “Philanthropication thru Privatization” (PtP) project to explore and promote the option for building community-based philanthropic endowments by capturing a portion of the proceeds of these privatization sales. Together with Dr. Lester M. Salamon of the John Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies, who developed this project and will serve as Project Director for it, EWMI will build a case for PtP by analyzing and publicizing the many examples of the phenomenon that have already occurred around world, identify future targets, guide efforts to implement the option, and determine promising pilot test areas for future PtP campaigns and projects. Diverting even a fraction of the billions of dollars of privatization sales that are now in play could revolutionize the philanthropic landscape of the world.