Last word: A seat at the table for everyone

Ridgway White

In today’s super-connected society, major decisions are being made based on little credible information and even less meaningful relationships. Communication seems to be restricted to 140 characters or less. In turn, conflict and disagreements appear even more prevalent as private opinions are broadcast across social media. In these conditions, community philanthropy organizations are increasingly significant.

The wide array of organizations that make up this sector can serve as a meaningful connector for people to engage in their communities and make a difference – either by giving or by allowing a potential funder to see problems and solutions through the eyes of those they are trying to help.

While the Mott Foundation has steadfastly supported community philanthropy for more than 30 years, we’re getting a first-hand look at its importance in our own backyard as we grapple with the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. When high levels of lead were discovered in the city’s improperly treated drinking water and, as a result, turned up in the blood of many Flint children, it created the type of public health emergency that many of us had never encountered before.

Ridgway White and a young student celebrate the opening of an early education centre in Flint, Michigan.

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