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Comments on PHILANTHROPY 2173: The Future of Foundations





Updated: 2017-12-07T23:30:12.337-08:00

 



DavidThis is a critically important point - thanks...

2008-03-27T12:12:00.000-07:00

David
This is a critically important point - thanks for making it. Just because I throw light on a trend doesn't mean I think its a good thing. In line with your comment, the next question we need to ask is whether or not (and when) philanthropic founders take the needs of the poor into account at any point in their structural decision making? I'm not sure the history of foundation creation to-date would answer this question in the affirmative.

IMHO, the relationship between structural choice and social outcome is usually pretty slim and most often far down the list of things philanthropists consider when setting up foundations - legal, financial and family/personal fulfillment coming near the top of the list.

Why do I say this? In my experience, people who find themselves with a pile of money who know that their, "number one goal with this pile of money is to feed the hungry, change food policy, or end poverty (or something like that)" rarely leap over the next logical question and decide that establishing a perpetual grantmaking foundation is the most effective thing they can do.



If these are the future of foundations, does that ...

2008-03-27T11:13:00.000-07:00

If these are the future of foundations, does that mean that philanthropy will be focused on supporting the needs of the white upper middle class (to make a vast generalization)?

I look at these foundations as bright ideas out of the minds of innovators. Looking for a legal structure, the nonprofit structure was just the closest to the hybrid B-corp style structure that would have fit them better.

HOWEVER, the vast majority of the poster children for this new idea are not focused on the needs of the under served. Be careful what we promote as models, or we will be reinforcing yet again the two class society-- innovative philanthropic capital markets for the rich, the same old thing for the poor.