The Knight Soul of the Community research project was launched by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Gallup with similar questions, and the findings over time have been surprisingly consistent.
Four main attributes affect quality of life and create emotional bonds between people and their places: social offerings, openness, aesthetics and education.
When people find these attributes, they are more likely to stay and make a life. The Knight results also found that communities with the highest levels of resident attachment also enjoy the greatest levels of gross domestic product growth.
Community and public foundations state their missions many different ways, but their essence is fostering philanthropy to improve quality of life. To learn more about how community philanthropy has improved quality of life for you and your neighbors, don’t miss the spring issue of Giving Forum — in your mail box and online now.
The methods may surprise you, as they go beyond the boundaries of traditional philanthropy, to include transit planning in Greater Minnesota, building affordable homes in Rochester, making business loans to encore entrepreneurs in Willmar, adding stops along the Central Corridor light rail line and making it easier for residents of St. Cloud to support the local arts.
Check it out. Do you have an example of how community philanthropy has improved your quality of life? Let us know!
- Susan Stehling, MCF communications associate