Legitimacy of Philanthropic Foundations
United States and European Perspectives
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
Privately established foundations were pioneered in medieval and early modern Europe. More recently, they have been distinctively prominent in the United States. Although there has been some learning from different experiences, there has been much less comparative research. This book seeks to encourage more mutual engagement between European...
Authors represented in this volume were not presented with a predigested thesis or any definition of legitimacy as this concept is applied in studies of philanthropic foundations. Recognizing that scholarship is at a very early stage in theorizing about the legitimacy of foundations in advanced democracies, the editors turned to comparison...
This volume brings together selected papers given at an invitational conference on The Legitimacy of Philanthropic Foundations: U.S. and European Perspectives, which took place in Paris, May 26 through 29, 2004. Held at the French Ministry of Scientific Research, UNESCO...
Part I Introduction
Chapter 1 Foundations and the Challenge of Legitimacy in Comparative Perspective
Who do foundations think they are? Why do they even exist? Why do democratic societies accept, even foster, the presence of “aristocratic institutions” that control large amounts of capital, in perpetuity, with few constraints on how their assets may be used? On what grounds...
Chapter 2 American Foundations: What Justifies Their Unique Privileges and Powers
Should nations that do not have a modern philanthropic foundation sector bother to establish one? If so, on what grounds? What is it they do or represent that cannot be provided by the government, the market, or the nonprofit sector more generally? To address the principles...
Part II American Perspectives
Chapter 3 American Debates on the Legitimacy of Foundations
Defined as large stocks of wealth controlled by independent, selfperpetuating boards of trustees and devoted to the support through grants of charitable purposes—or to no specific purpose except “the general good”—philanthropic foundations first attracted notice in the United States only at the beginning of the twentieth century. By the time of World War I, such foundations had won attention...
Chapter 4 Accountability and Legitimacy in American Foundation Philanthropy
A central problem in American philanthropy is whether donors are ever held adequately accountable for their giving. This issue arises in part from the tax deduction that donors receive for their giving, but is also connected to the power donors have to use resources to enact their agendas. Interestingly, the issue is more pressing in...
Chapter 5 Redistributional Effects of America’s Private Foundations
Grants by America’s 62,000 private foundations, with assets of $477 billion, totaled $30.3 billion in the year 2002 (Foundation Center 2003). Those are substantial numbers, but of themselves do not indicate whether the grants are redistributive and how their distributive targeting compares to government transfers and assistance...
Chapter 6 Foundation Legitimacy at the Community Level in the United States
Community Foundations occupy a strategic place among U.S. foundations. Although they make grants like other nonoperating foundations, they are classified as public charities rather than private foundations because they raise funds on an ongoing basis from many donors rather than just a few (such as a sponsoring corporation or founding family)....
Part III European Perspectives
Chapter 7 Historical Changes in Foundation Functions and Legitimacy in Europe
Historically, foundations are among the oldest of social institutions, having been with us for nearly 3,000 years. From the Greek and Roman period to the Middle Ages, in the Christian and the Islamic and Jewish traditions, their raison d’être has been to preserve...
Chapter 8 Roles of Foundations in Europe: A Comparison
From a comparative, European perspective, few types of organizations have received less attention by researchers and policy analysts than foundations. Little is known in a systematic way about the current and future role and policy environment foundations are facing across Europe. Research on foundations has not been as forthcoming...
Chapter 9 Supporting Culture and Higher Education: A German Perspective
One of the most difficult tasks in analyzing the role of foundations in supporting culture and science in the European context is to describe adequately the nature of a foundation and define what is meant by support—not to mention the futile attempt to define culture...
Chapter 10 Industrial Foundations: Foundation Ownership of Business Companies
In addition to serving as donors, foundations can own business companies. This was not uncommon in the United States until passage of the 1969 Tax Reform Act, which effectively prevented U.S. foundations from owning more than 20 percent of a corporate entity (Fleishman 2001). But in northern Europe, foundations continue to own...
Chapter 11 Foundation Legitimacy at the Community Level in the United Kingdom
Community foundations claim to be the fastest-growing form of philanthropy (Walkenhorst 2001), yet in most countries they are also the newest. This raises a number of questions concerning the diffusion of philanthropic innovations, including how novel foundation forms carve out distinctive roles and build legitimacy and trust in their roles...
Part IV Conclusion
In Search of Legitimacy: Similarities and Differences Between the Continents
Legitimacy is a belief, not a legal prescription that can be implemented by a ruler’s decree. Foundations flourish only in democratic regimes, where they are expressions of the civil society. The legitimacy of philanthropic foundations involves the belief that they are the most appropriate...
Page Count: 312
Publication Year: 2006
OCLC Number: 654322306
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