Update From the Foundation

New Mission Statement and Guidelines

February 1, 2012

After a year of discussion and planning, in December 2011, the Compton Foundation board adopted a new mission statement:

We ignite change. We support transformative leadership and courageous storytelling to inspire action toward a sustainable, just, and peaceful future.

Our focus on igniting change communicates a sense of urgency and excitement, an impatience with things as they are, and a willingness to take risks to transform the world in which we live.

The work we expect to support will demonstrate innovative ways of understanding and naming the problems we face, as well as provide new methods for collaborating to solve them.

We focus on transformative leadership because we believe that a new way of leading social change work is necessary: one that is based on trusting relationships and shared values, collaborates through networks and coalitions with energy and ease, and values emotional intelligence as well as political and tactical skills.

We focus on storytelling because we believe there is a need for compelling new narratives about who we are, how we should live, and our purpose on this planet. We believe that culture must shift in order to make social and environmental change possible. Culture can only change when artists, writers, musicians, and other creative minds have the space to imagine and communicate, and to connect effectively with analysts and activists.

Starting today we are implementing an online “inquiry” process for organizations interested in sharing ideas that we can consider for a possible grant. We will no longer have specific deadlines for proposal submissions, and we will only invite full proposals from those inquiries that best match our program guidelines and offer the greatest potential for learning about our new fields.

Thank you for your patience as we have assessed and re-imagined how the resources of the Compton Foundation can best be used to foster the vision of its founders. We hope that our new focus will open up space for creative ways of working to advance the kind of change we all hope to see in the world.

With excitement and hope for the future,


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