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November 20, 2013

Political and Practical Hurdles to Foundation Role in Detroit Bailout

With the federal mediator in Detroit's bankruptcy asking foundations to step in financially to help address two of the most problematic issues in the case, the Detroit Free Press examines what role big philanthropies could—or should—have in bailing out the city.

The mediator, U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen, reportedly floated a proposal at a November 5 meeting with national and local foundations for the groups to contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to a fund to support city pension payments and protect the Detroit Institute of Arts collection from possible sale to satisfy creditors.

The plan highlights the influence foundations have in shaping Detroit's renewal efforts, but it also raises questions over whether organizations with widely varying sizes, missions, and priorities can "find common ground in a grand bargain" to help the city escape bankruptcy, the newspaper says.

Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy article on foundations’ role in rescuing Detroit.