Friday, April 3, 2009

The Diversity Bill

The Economist describes the new "threat" to American philanthropy: mandating diversity on the boards and staff of charitable foundations.

We've already seen such a "diversity initiative" die after serious lobbying efforts in California.  But --
"Now Congress is getting in on the act. On March 10th Charles Grassley, the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said he wanted to explore transparency and accountability in foundations, arguing that 'sunshine is the best disinfectant.'

This sort of partisan interest could allow lawmakers to 'insert themselves into foundation governance and grant-making,' worries Sue Santa of the Philanthropy Roundtable. Philanthropists fear America may go down the British route, where charities must show clear public benefit to qualify for tax deductions; and that will open the door to politics."

This is a topic ripe for ReGenerate discussion. What are your initial thoughts? 

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