The State of Philanthropy

The State of Philanthropy

Council on Foundations president Dot Ridings kicked off the organization's 54th annual conference (April 28-30) with a cautionary plenary address (5 pages, PDF) that focused on the issue of accountability. Ridings pointed out that while the field of philanthropy has become more strategic, collaborative, and diverse over the last few years, ethical lapses and poor stewardship on the part of a few are attracting the scrutiny of lawmakers, regulators, and the media and putting the field's respected status in society in jeopardy. For its part, the Council has released a revised version of its Top Ten Ways Foundations Get Into Trouble, as well as new guidelines for foundation executive and trustee compensation (5 pages each, PDF). It also plans to "hit the road" and hold six regional meetings this summer to talk about foundation ethics, accountability, and how foundations are viewed by lawmakers and opinion leaders.