How Public Is Private Philanthropy?

How Public Is Private Philanthropy?

The Philanthropy Roundtable has issued a report challenging the assumption held by many that governments are entitled to exercise tighter control over the allocation of philanthropic resources because those dollars are "public" money. The report, How Public Is Private Philanthropy?: Separating Reality From Myth (92 pages, PDF), argues that because legal precedents have treated charities as private entities controlling private resources, the tax-advantaged treatment of nonprofits does not entitle governments or the body politic to impose additional restrictions or mandates on charitable organizations with respect to how they allocate their resources. The report also argues that the historic requirement that foundations and charities serve a "public benefit" purpose does not mean that such organizations must serve the purposes of government or the public at large.