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Comments made by NancyJamison

The Tricky Intersection Of Politics And Philanthropy

The Balboa Park situation is reflective of both San Diego’s tradition of philanthropy as well as the increase of instances where government looks to philanthropy to help fund community services and improvements. Though philanthropy has far fewer dollars to spend than government (even in the best of times), it can be a critically important partner in social solutions.

There will always be healthy debate about the influence of power and money over public issues and what is in the public interest – such debate is a hallmark of democracy. But if there’s authentic motivation to collaborate and leverage resources of all kinds, and to engage stakeholders of all types in identifying the problem and solutions, we are all better off.

In my work as Executive Director of San Diego Grantmakers, I see how philanthropic individuals and organizations can embrace the challenges and opportunities of working in partnership with other stakeholders. This is far easier said than done of course, but there have been many successes. Locally we can point to the cross-sector development of a multi-faceted plan to end family homelessness (, the Home Again ( plan to end chronic homelessness, and recent work on education in City Heights and Chula Vista, among many others.

I agree with Laura Deitrick that we must carefully consider how all sectors – philanthropy, nonprofits, government, business and academia – can work better together to address the challenges that lie ahead because of constrained public resources. It is indeed a tricky, tricky intersection, but one which we must navigate because there simply is no choice.

Nancy Jamison
Executive Director
San Diego Grantmakers

August 13, 2012 at 10:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal )