In the wake of the January 25, 2011 Egyptian uprisings, local private and community foundations responded divergently to civil society’s calls for political change. Egypt’s community foundations quickly positioned themselves as leaders of democratic political reforms, while private foundations remained focused on their pre-2011 activities in the economic development realm. To explain the foundations’ different responses to the uprisings, the article draws upon extant literature to develop a conceptual model of foundations’ capacity to lead change. It then applies the model to the Egyptian case, arguing that community foundations’ high levels of political independence and low levels of financial and civic independence facilitated their leadership efforts, while private foundations’ low levels of political and financial independence and high levels of civic independence hampered their ability to lead reform initiatives. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
- community foundations
- social movements
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)