The Fabric of Character


Our world is changing faster than ever before. As our relationships to work, place, information, place, and most importantly, each other, have massively shifted, we are stuck in an uncertain place yearning for a common ground. Can fostering character formation in these uncertain times spark meaningful change in people's lives? In The Fabric of Character, Anne Snyder guides us through a conversation around character and community through six inspirational case studies into effective character building institutions. In a set of 16 questions, we learn which crucial features are needed to create successful social and moral renewal. For example, "Does the organization have a clear, strong reason for being in the world, embraced by all of its members? Does it give members organizing criteria for what to love?" and "Does the organization have a clear conception of the world person - head, heart, and helping hand - and seek to develop it? Are employees and departments integrated across domains, serving constituents in complementary, mutually reinforcing ways?" Ultimately, Snyder gifts us with a framework that helps unify the questions surrounding how to best build and foster character formation. Philanthropist or not, this book will benefit any reader interested in meaningful, lasting, holistic change.

Anne Snyder directs The Philanthropy Roundtable's Character Initiative, a program that seeks to help foundations and business leaders strengthen the "middle ring" of morally formative institutions in the United States. She is also a fellow at the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, a Houston-based think tank that explores how cities can drive opportunity for the bulk of their citizens, and a senior fellow at The Trinity Forum. From 2014 to 2017 Anne worked for Laity Lodge and the H. E. Butt Family Foundation in Texas, and before that, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, World Affairs Journal, and the New York Times. She has published in Atlantic Monthly, the Washington Post, City Journal, and elsewhere, and is a contributing editor to Comment Magazine and a trustee at the ­Center for Public Justice. Anne spent the formative years of her childhood overseas before earning a bachelors degree from Wheaton College (IL) and a master's degree from Georgetown University. She currently lives in Washington, D.C.