For 100 years American foundations have funded and gathered research developed almost always by university-credentialed experts. "Community research" that values the knowledge and expertise of residents has never been a priority.
But if a new trend in foundation interests is lasting, that may – at long last – be changing. I was asked to present at this year’s Grantmakers for Effective Organizations conference about the incredible community-based participatory research course (sometimes referred to as participatory action research) that I co-teach at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism.
The summary of my presentation findings can be found on USC’s Metamorphosis blog. GEO organizers also asked me, along with my colleagues Cindy Rizzo at the Arcus Foundation and Allison Gister at Hilton Foundation, to contribute a reflection on foundations learning with partners. Read our reflections.