How Public Is Private Philanthropy? Separating Reality from Myth

Autor(es) : Evelyn Brody, John Tyler

This monograph presents the results of the author’s evaluation about the authorities and precedents applicable to the “public money” claim. The public money claims advocates argue that the charitable tax exemption and deduction are government subsidies; thus, philanthropic funds are public money and should be publicly controlled. Some advocates also claim that philanthropic assets are public money because philanthropies operate under state charters and are subject to state oversight. This idea is one of the justifications for the increasing pressures from some public officials and advocacy groups to subject private philanthropies to more uniform standards and stricter government regulation. Such changes could significantly affect the ability of philanthropies to continue to play their role in supporting and nourishing American pluralism.

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Copyright 2009 Philanthropy Roundtable.