Hopefully, you had a chance to read The Philanthropy Roundtable’s most recent issue of Philanthropy magazine where we take a look at donor privacy. In the issue, two of the Roundtable’s staff members, Karl Zinsmeister, vice president of publications, and Sean Parnell, vice president of public policy, delve into the issue of anonymous giving as a pillar of philanthropy and as a legal and political issue.
The Philanthropy Roundtable believes that anonymous giving has long been central to American philanthropy. There are many reasons why philanthropists wish to keep their names out of the spotlight. They might want to keep their personal security risk low, keep the spotlight on the charity’s work, or even just keep their name from “owning” a cause or an object that truly belongs to the people. Whatever their reasons for doing so, private giving keeps the entrepreneurial spirit alive, and it benefits us all in more ways than we will ever know.
To help break down the complex nature of private giving embedded in philanthropic culture, Sean Parnell expanded his article on the legal and political landscape of donor privacy into a longer white paper, which is available here.
However Americans give, to whichever causes they give, the Roundtable is advocating for philanthropic freedom on behalf of all who give. Fighting for the overall protection of charitable giving–whether it’s so individuals can give privately or opposing a minimum asset size for foundations–is our way of making a statement that charitable giving belongs to civil society.