Transparency Talk

Category: "Conferences" (12 posts)

Glasspockets Find: Net-Centric Grantmaking - Increasing Social Impact in a Networked World
October 17, 2011

Foundation leaders met in San Francisco on October 17 to discuss their experiences with embracing a network mindset, supporting and catalyzing networks, and sharing and investing in network learning.

Part of a conference on networking convened by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and Monitor Institute, this interactive panel discussion looked at both the challenges and opportunities for taking on more open and collaborative approaches to grantmaking. The panel included Chris van Bergeijk (Hawaii Community Foundation), Steve Downs (the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), Stephanie McAuliffe (the David and Lucile Packard Foundation), and Rafael Lopez (the Annie E. Casey Foundation).

How has your organization embraced a network mindset? How has it changed the way you work?

-- Daniel Matz

Philanthropy on Trial at the Council on Foundations Annual Conference
April 26, 2011

Gara Lamarche

Ralph Smith

At the closing plenary to the 2011 Council on Foundations Annual Conference, a mock trial was held to consider the question: "Is philanthropy meeting its mission of fulfilling the public good?"  In the current tax and budget reform climate, are foundations at risk of losing their tax-exempt status if they are unwilling to be accountable to the communities they serve and unable to demonstrate their value to society?

Serving as the prosecution, Gara LaMarche, president and CEO of the Atlantic Philanthropies, called on the philanthropic community to hold itself to a higher standard of transparency and accountabiliity when demonstrating its impact on the common good.  "Our sector," he cautioned, "has eroded its moral authority through self-interest."

In defense of institutional philanthropy, Ralph Smith, executive vice president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, noted that foundations already make an enormous effort to show what they do and how they do it. Speaking of the diversity of the sector and the innumerable risks and successes of foundations and philanthropists "that benefitted all of society" he concluded, "we have been persistent and engaged, not missing in action."

The trial ended in a hung jury, heavily weighted to the prosecution arguments, but this debate will surely continue.  Visit the COF site to read LaMarche and Smith’s remarks. Do you think foundations succeed at both benefitting society and demonstrating that benefit?  In what ways can foundations do better?

-- Daniel Matz

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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