Towards stronger communities : potential roles for grant makers : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Think about a world where groups and communities who are disadvantaged meet with those who have resources to effect positive social change. This is not a beautiful dream it is a world at the intersection of disadvantage and the grant maker who adopts a community development focus to try to bring about positive social change. This thesis explores the intersection of exemplary grant making and community development practice and theory. The thesis set out to achieve three objectives. Firstly to gather information relating to the theory and practice of grant making and community development, secondly to analyse information relating to potential roles of grant makers / philanthropic bodies in contributing to community development and finally to develop a model of grant making that contributes to community development. In order to achieve these three objectives information was extracted from the literature on both grant making and community development. This was then compared with the interviews of seven interviewees. Four interviewees were international academics or leading grant makers and three were New Zealand based community development practitioners with experience of grant seeking. This mix provided very rich information. The study also examines the journey of a grant maker who has developed from a traditional grant maker to a more community development focussed grant maker and considers how the information gained can be used to enhance practice. The conclusions and recommendations show that a community development model is appropriate for a grant maker and makes recommendations about activities that might enhance this role and cautions that it is not an easy path but it is a rewarding one, both for the grant maker and for the community.