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Advancing Transparency in Philanthropy: The NCRP Glasspockets Interview
September 7, 2011

JanetCamarena-Transparency[1]This post by Meredith Brodbeck originally appeared on NCRP's blog: "keeping a close eye..." Meredith Brodbeck is communications associate at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP).

Former chairman of the Carnegie Corporation and founder of the Foundation Center Russell Leffingwell said, "We believe the foundation should have glass pockets." Leffingwell and the other founders of the Foundation Center turned this belief into the organization’s mission: to provide transparency for the field of philanthropy.

In January 2010, the Foundation Center launched Glasspockets, a website that promotes online transparency and accountability practices among foundations.

In an interview with Responsive Philanthropy, Foundation Center‘s Janet Camarena, who manages Glasspockets, discusses how the first year of the project went and where the website is headed in "Advancing Transparency in Philanthropy." She said, "Raising awareness and raising expectations about the value of transparency is causing foundations to rethink what information they make public and how they make consumers aware of that new level of openness. Glasspockets has helped encourage that."

The site features a "Who Has Glass Pockets?" section that allows foundations to assess their own transparency practices and compare them to those of other grantmakers. It also includes a blog for discussing accountability and transparency best practices, Transparency Talk.

Foundation Center hopes that Glasspockets will also make foundations more accountable. Camarena says, "For foundations to be really effective in serving the public good, they not only have pursue transformative ideas, they also have to be answerable to the people they affect (the communities they serve as well as the general public). In this way, foundations that are genuinely accountable not only make information readily available (transparency), but they actively seek out dialogue with those interested in knowing how and why they pursue specific goals."

Find out more about Glasspockets and how philanthropy can benefit from increased transparency in "Advancing Transparency in Philanthropy."

-- Meredith Brodbeck


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About Transparency Talk

  • Transparency Talk, the GlassPockets blog, is a platform for candid and constructive conversation about foundation transparency and accountability. In this space, Candid highlights strategies, findings, and best practices on the web and in foundations–illuminating the importance of having "glass pockets."

    The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of the Candid.

    Questions, comments, and inquiries relating to guest blog posts may be
    directed to:

    Janet Camarena
    Senior Director of Candid Learning