When the unbelievably corrupt FIFA signed up as a funder of the Clinton Global Initiative, along with a much larger funder—the government of Qatar, which was angling to host the World Cup and sacrificing the health and safety of migrant workers in doing so—surely the Clinton Foundation should have harbored an inkling of concern.
In Wisconsin, as sung by Sly and the Family Stone, it’s a family affair. The Grebe family, known for the elder Grebe’s leadership of the Bradley Foundation, gets more influence in the state’s Republican leadership with an appointment by Governor Scott Walker.
This hard-hitting article from the ironically-named blog “Africa is a Country” voices a number of civil society issues that are transferable to the U.S.—the deep-seated lack of diversity in governance, and the philanthropic savior who profits from systemic oppression during the day and receives charitable praise in the evening for instance. There is much here that may be uncomfortably familiar.
Many of the stories about the Clinton Foundation that have entranced critics of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign could have been nipped in the bud had the foundation anticipated the questions it probably should have.
Foundations, corporations, and government agencies are joining together to support “Grand Challenges” with grant support, but questions persist as to whether this open source platform for finding and picking innovations is all it is cracked up to be.
The Hedge Clippers group in New York has produced a tough analysis of the hedge fund billionaires behind the Robin Hood Foundation, suggesting that their philanthropy is outweighed by what they do to promote policies that exacerbate income inequality.
The second year of the Council on Foundations’ Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge begins with more than $106 million in new commitments and revealing lessons about collaboration from the foundations working to help America’s returning war veterans.
When the NFL ditched its tax-exempt status, concerns from Congress about the nonprofit classification of the league seemed to end. But critics of inconsistencies in IRS categories still think something should be fixed about the content and purpose of 501(c) organizations.
In its obsession with metrics and technology, the foundation sector seems to chronically undervalue the liberal arts. The Aspen Institute’s Walter Isaacson advised the audience at the 2015 Council on Foundations annual meeting to appreciate and value the liberal arts as some of the greatest scientific geniuses of our day, like Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs did.
Given the serial problems uncovered with the Clinton Foundation, the Obama administration may come to regret this hands-off approach to basic issues in a nonprofit associated with the most powerful political leader in the world.
“The Knight Foundation has disregarded community-led innovation to sustain the status quo by funding multi-million and billion dollar corporate and foundation entities in Detroit.”—Stovall and Hill, Knight Cities Challenge finalists
In the end, the Gingrich/Jones collaboration on reforming the criminal justice system seemed to be a model for the foundations gathered by the Council of getting different ideologies to come together in—and through—philanthropy.
Several years ago, Newt Gingrich was a plenary speaker for the annual meeting of the Council on Foundations despite questions about his track record regarding philanthropic accountability. Those questions remain as he addressed the Council’s annual meeting in 2015.