Financial Development of Women's Organizations: Community Foundations as an Alternative

Jung-Rin Kim, Emerging Leader, International Fellows Program ~ 2000




Jung-Rin Kim's study is designed to identify strategies for the development and sustainability of Korean women's organizations by examining the history and experience of women's foundations in the United States. She applies the community foundation model to an affinity (as opposed to a geographic) grouping. Kim notes that “Men control most of the economic and social capital and most capital is concentrated in a few major cities.” Therefore, women's organizations are underfunded and heavily dependent on volunteer time. Kim develops a tri-focused strategy for Korean community foundations. They should serve as resource monitors, programmatic initiators, and most importantly as trainers to overcome the sector's lack of organizational and professional capacity. She lists three conditions necessary for the establishment of women's community foundations: the involvement of dedicated community leadership; the amendment of the legal framework to facilitate corporate involvement in the community foundation movement; and the willingness of those involved to sustain their commitment over a long period of time. The last point is drawn directly from the Russian experience which, like Korea, is still in the process of transition from an authoritarian to democratic form of governance.



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