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In the News: Why Philanthropy Can’t Keep Hoarding Assets in the Pandemic

Some foundation leaders and wealthy donors have proposed that in response to this unprecedented emergency, Congress change the federal law to require that for the next three years, grant makers award (at least) double the 5 percent a year mandatory payout rate, as well as instituting the same 10 percent payout rate for donor-advised funds. Many of my foundation colleagues immediately reacted negatively against a requirement like this — but I have to say that to me it feels exciting, freeing, and right.

I was lucky enough to hear Farhad Ebrahimi, founder and president of the Chorus Foundation, which is in the process of spending all its assets, speak last month at a session held by the Solidaire Network about the concept of stockpiling: “My daughter will not inherit a foundation,” he said. “She won’t inherit the resources that should never have been extracted and consolidated by my family in the first place. She gets to live a life that is hopefully debt free, but we are not just about what we do in my family, but about the ways we engage in larger systemic work. … So if we believe another world is possible, that has implications for everything about our lives, including the way the philanthropic sector works, and particularly private philanthropy.”

“Why Philanthropy Can’t Keep Hoarding Assets in a Pandemic” by Lisa Pilar Cowan, The Chronicle of Philanthropy / May 19, 2020

Read the full article here.

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