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Guest Essays - Can Philanthropy Bring America Together?

  • Democracy SOS

    Leaders and advocates debate what it will take to strengthen communities, civil society, and the country.
  • Investing in a More Perfect Union

    Philanthropists and grant makers point to where philanthropy can make a difference.
  • Not So Fast

    Democracy is stronger than self-justifying, plutocratic philanthropy suggests, skeptics argue.
We've got to stop hyperintellectualizing things and just care about people.
L.B. Prevette, Aspen Institute community builder in Wilkes County, N.C.

News, Analysis, and Advice

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WHY THE COMMONS?

CEO Stacy Palmer talks about the project and The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s mission as a nonprofit.

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Young people are better at leading revolutions. Old people are better at knowing that we need revolutions.
Robert Putnam, author, "Bowling Alone" and "The Upswing"

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CONVERSATION

How do we get out of this mess? Citizen University’s Eric Liu and Bowling Alone author Robert Putnam have answers.

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TO WHAT EXTENT DO YOU BELIEVE AMERICANS ARE UNITED OR DIVIDED TODAY?

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Photo Essay: Courage, Hope, and Common Ground

Plus: interviews with seven Americans living on the edge of divides

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The Commons Collaboration

Debating Pluralism

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THE COMMONS GOES LIVE

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The Commons is financed in part with philanthropic support from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Einhorn Collaborative, and JPB Foundation. None of our supporters have any control over or input into story selection, reporting, or editing, and they do not review articles before publication. See more about the Chronicle, the grants, how our foundation-supported journalism works, and our gift-acceptance policy.