Measuring social values in philanthropic foundations
Article first published online: 19 MAR 2009
© Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Nonprofit Management and Leadership
Volume 19, Issue 3, pages 305–325, Spring 2009
How to Cite
Whitman, J. R. (2009), Measuring social values in philanthropic foundations. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 19: 305–325. doi: 10.1002/nml.221
- Issue published online: 19 MAR 2009
- Article first published online: 19 MAR 2009
Philanthropic foundations are seen as organizations that allocate resources to achieve their visions of a better world. Drawing on a sample of foundations in Canada, the United States, and Europe, this research undertakes to reveal the social values that constitute such visions and to measure the consistency between espoused social values and those conveyed by resource allocations. A social values identification and measurement instrument is described and tested. The social values that comprise the instrument are presented in a chart of social values. A methodology for measuring the consistency between social values espoused by a foundation and those actually conveyed by resource allocation decisions is described, tested, and critiqued. It is argued that the results of this research provide a basis on which to pursue development of a standardized vocabulary of social values that may enhance understanding and discourse regarding the purposes and work of foundations, as well as provide a basis for cross-cultural comparative analyses of foundations.