Foundations Enjoined to Be More Charitable ; Mounting Criticism of Charitable Givers Says They're Being Too Stingy. the Issue Will Be Addressed at a Key Meeting Next Week

By Paul Van Slambrouck, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, April 28, 2000 | Go to article overview

Foundations Enjoined to Be More Charitable ; Mounting Criticism of Charitable Givers Says They're Being Too Stingy. the Issue Will Be Addressed at a Key Meeting Next Week


Paul Van Slambrouck, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Propelled by America's economic expansion and fattened by an unprecedented transfer of wealth into their hands, the nation's charitable foundations are giving more than ever before.

Schools, symphonies, and soup kitchens are all benefiting from the open wallets of individuals like Bill Gates and institutions like the Ford and Rockefeller foundations.

Yet America's philanthropic institutions are, on the whole, unjustifiably stingy, according to an increasingly vocal set of critics, who are waging an aggressive campaign to shame givers into doing more.

On the surface, the argument is about whether private foundations should give more than the minimum - law requires them to give at least 5 percent of their asset base annually.

But the issue cuts more deeply, touching on what obligation the wealthy, and often clubby world of private foundations, have to society as a whole, given their privileged tax status.

"The debate comes down to what's right, and the question of whose money is this anyway," says Mark Dowie, who is writing a book about American philanthropy and social responsibility.

Mr. Dowie and others say the tax breaks that private foundations enjoy justify greater accountability for how much money they plow back into society.

Pushing for 6 percent

The National Network of Grantmakers and the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy are launching a campaign next week to push foundations to give at least 6 percent of their assets yearly.

Such a change may seem small. But given the total size of the nation's foundations, that slight bump in giving would send an additional $4 billion flowing into nonprofits.

The issue will be debated next week at the annual meeting in Los Angeles of the Council on Foundations, the largest regular gathering of the philanthropic world.

The gathering comes at a time of unprecedented prosperity for the nation's foundations. According to the New York-based Foundation Center, large-foundation giving jumped 22 percent in 1998, the latest full year of data.

Yet as the stock market pumps up foundations' assets, and gifts to new and existing endowments increase, that giving looks puny to some observers.

All the more so, say critics, when contrasted to the need.

Citing the growing gap between rich and poor in the US, the rising number of homeless, and the high rate of child poverty, Rob McKay of the McKay Foundation says foundations "are not exactly stepping up to the plate." The McKay Foundation gave out about 20 percent of its assets last year. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Foundations Enjoined to Be More Charitable ; Mounting Criticism of Charitable Givers Says They're Being Too Stingy. the Issue Will Be Addressed at a Key Meeting Next Week
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.