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Michael Feigelson


Michael Feigelson photo



Michael Feigelson is the incoming interim Executive Director Director for the Bernard Van Leer Foundation, a private foundation focused on improving opportunities for young children in situations of social and economic disadvantage around the world.  A native New Yorker, he has spent the last 15 years working with children and youth in grassroots and international organizations, as well as serving as a consultant at McKinsey & Company.  He has degrees from Princeton and Wesleyan University.  Most importantly, he is a proud, new father.






The Role of Private Philanthropy in Violence Prevention

The aim of this presentation is to illustrate the potential of philanthropy in fostering lasting social change and how this may be applied to the field of violence prevention.

The presentation will describe the comparative advantages of philanthropic investment including the ability to take risks, serve as an independent convener, capitalize on time-sensitive opportunities, build capacity in a field and exercise patience in waiting for a return on investment.  The presentation will provide historical and current examples, in which philanthropy was instrumental in building a field and creating lasting change.

The presentation will draw conclusions about the opportunities for philanthropy in the field of violence prevention including outlining the different kinds of field building investments already being made by foundations. The authors will describe cases of successful as well as failed attempts of philanthropy in the field in order to discern lessons learned and identify future opportunities for philanthropy in violence prevention.

This contribution will partially draw on an expert survey conducted with key academic experts, practitioners, investors and advocates from the fields of violence prevention and philanthropy.