Philanthropy and the Limits of Accountability: A Relationship of Respect and Clarity
A new report, Philanthropy and the Limits of Accountability: A Relationship of Respect and Clarity, a joint effort by the Kettering Foundation and Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE), explores how the field of organized philanthropy might think about responding to a growing movement for accountability and transparency.
The report, written by Kettering Foundation program officer Brad Rourke, distills the results of three roundtables, in addition to one-on-one conversations, with philanthropic and nonprofit leaders about how the issues of transparency and accountability might soon impact the field of philanthropy.
Among the report’s main findings:
- Philanthropy is at a crossroads as it experiences increased pressure from all sides to solve public problems and to be more accountable for outcomes.
- Transparency may be a necessary component of accountability, but it is not sufficient and too often may be obfuscating.
- Strategic philanthropy may paradoxically tend to make philanthropic organizations seem less accountable and more risk averse.
- Accountability isn’t just about data transparency. It’s also about relationships.
The full report, which includes a foreword by Chris Gates, executive director of PACE, is available as a free download.