Parts 4 and 5 of Generosity Unbound

December 17, 2010 at 5:27 PM

From the Washington Examiner, excerpt four and five from Claire Gaudiani’s Generosity Unbound.

In part four, the author discusses further the threat she sees to America’s foundations in efforts like those of the Greenlining Institute, which would impose by force of law that certain percentages of grants go to particular ethnic groups.

Capital is mobile. Many foundation leaders quietly warn that they are prepared to spend down their endowments and close their foundations if their time and money were going to be spent litigating the right to operate as private entities.

Part five proposes the Declaration Initiative, in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence.

The Founders wrote that ‘all men are created equal…endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…’ In America, 85 percent of us attain those rights. But, 15 percent of us are fatally blocked…[T]the bottom 15 percent are trapped in transgenerational poverty. Foundations have the keys to free them to join middle income Americans.

Well, you can’t accuse of her setting her sights too low. She’s right, I think, that private-citizen associations and not government provide that best hope of accomplishing such a heady goal, but finding some way to coordinate an effort that large seems a pipe dream. I think we’re more likely to see progress in fits in starts, in different regions and cities, as groups work within their own communities to discover what works and what does not.

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