Departmental Papers (SPP)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

January 1995


What are local public administrators expected to do in an era of tax-based decline, diminishing state and federal support, and intensified public demand for more and better services? Felice Perlmutter and Ram Cnaan argue that a policy of fundraising and development is one solution to this dilemma. The authors acknowledge that private support for public services is not a new idea or practice; however, an institutionalized policy of capital campaign and donation seeking from private sources on an ongoing basis to fund traditional public services is the essence of this new policy. Perlmutter and Cnaan provide us with a case study of the Department of Recreation in the city of Philadelphia which, through the proactive leadership of a new commissioner, took on the mission of establishing a development unit and annual fund campaign. The authors describe the background of the new policy, its formulation, and implementation. This policy, however, is not without its risks, and Perlmutter and Cnaan detail some of these risks as a precaution for those wishing to hastily adopt the new policy.


Postprint version. Copyright The American Society for Public Administration and Blackwell. Published in Public Administration Review, Volume 55, Issue 1, January/February 1995, pages 29-36. Publisher URL:



Date Posted: 22 November 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.