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Social Innovation in Action: Informing the Practice of Philanthropy

Michelle Woodell


This article discusses an innovative research-to-practice project completed by a team of graduate students studying nonprofit management. Five years after the completion of Detroit’s Grand Bargain, the public–private solution that helped save the City of Detroit from bankruptcy, this project examined the philanthropic, governmental, and civic actors who enacted this solution through the lens of nine theories and frameworks. Students prepared a series of research essays discussing the ways individual and organizational actors influenced the outcome of this unprecedented intervention into a municipal bankruptcy.

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research-to-practice; philanthropic studies; case study; Grand Bargain; social innovation

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