Chronicle of Philanthropy webinar—in partnership with Giving Review, Institute for Policy Studies—considers issues facing nonprofits, philanthropy

Sep 27, 2023

“Reshaping the Conversation: How to Rebuild Public Trust in Philanthropy.”

During a Chronicle of Philanthropy webinar yesterday, “Reshaping the Conversation: How to Rebuild Public Trust in Philanthropy,” panelists with diverse worldviews discussed potential ways in which to deal with pressing issues facing the entire nonprofit sector and its philanthropic component in particular. The event was held in a cross-ideological partnership with The Giving Review and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).

The participants were Chuck Collins, director of IPS’s Program on Inequality and the Common Good; Craig Kennedy, Giving Review senior fellow and Chronicle of Philanthropy columnist; Jan Masaoka, chief executive officer of the California Association of Nonprofits; Andrea Caupain Sanderson, co-founder and co-executive director of the BIPOC Executive Directors Coalition; and Dean Zerbe, national managing director of alliantgroup and former senior counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

Chronicle of Philanthropy chief executive officer Stacy Palmer moderated the hour-long session.

They talked in general about the effects of certain policies and practices that may be undermining trust in the charitable sector overall. Specifically, among other things, they wide-rangingly considered:

  • the “warehousing” of assets in nonprofit endowments and donor-advised funds (DAFs);
  • whether nonprofit hospitals and higher-education are truly serving charitable purposes; 
  • the differences between, and effectiveness of, federal and state regulation and oversight of nonprofitdom; 
  • the politicization and “election-adjacency,” as well as the financialization, of many nonprofits, including foundations; 
  • the transparency to which various nonprofit giving entities should legally be subject;
  • the accountability to which they should be held by more-skeptical and investigative journalism and giving peers; and, …
  • the power imbalance(s) between those giving and those receiving grants, and those advising each.