Excerpt #3 from “Generosity Unbound”

December 15, 2010 at 7:48 PM

As I noted yesterday, the Washington Examiner is publishing five excerpts from Claire Gaudiani’s new book, Generosity Unbound.

In this, the third excerpt, Gaudiani describes what she sees as the threat to American philanthropy, which seems to be the potential loss of autonomy if efforts like Greenlining Institute’s succeed. The Greenlining Institute sponsored the bill in California in 2008 that would have required, among other things, that large California foundations…

…report annually on the number of grants and on the percentage of total grant dollars awarded to 1) organizations serving racial minority communities and 2) organizations led by ethnic minority boards and staffs.

While seeming to acknowledge that lack of transparency is an often valid criticism of foundations, the author sees this sort of oversight as far too intrusive. I agree. As she points out, “causes such as clean air and water, rich biodiversity, and the preservation of ancient languages, art, and artifacts” would be endangered by these kinds of quotas.

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