ERIC Number: ED215592
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980-May
Reference Count: N/A
Foundations and Public Information: Sunshine or Shadow? Preliminary Findings from a Study of the Public Information Accountability of the Country's Largest Foundations.
Bruce, Ellen; And Others
The types of written information that the largest foundations in the United States voluntarily make available to the public were studied. Of the 208 foundations contacted, 150 were the largest grant-making foundations, 30 were the largest community foundations, and 28 were the largest corporate foundations. The response rate to written and telephone requests was 75 percent. A rating form was used that focused on 22 key items of information in 5 categories: (1) grant-making interests and policies (e.g., statement of program/funding priorities); (2) grant proposal application and evaluation procedures; (3) recent grants data (e.g., names and locations of grantees); (4) governance information (e.g., list of board of directors/trustees); and (5) finances (e.g., simple information about income, expenses, assets, and liabilities). Findings include the following: almost 60 percent of the country's largest foundations do not meet an acceptable standard for providing information to the public, and half of these foundations refuse to provide any information to the public when requested; of the other 40 percent of the 208 foundations studied, most provide an acceptable quality of information, while a few (4 percent) score excellent; the most neglected category is financial information; the next most neglected category is information about recent grants; the type of foundation that most consistently provided essential information is the community foundation. Information is provided by specific foundations, and a sample questionnaire is appended. Federal government requirements for foundation accountability are also presented and accountability issues are discussed. (SW)
Descriptors: Accountability, Disclosure, Evaluation Methods, Expenditures, Financial Policy, Governance, Grants, Income, Information Dissemination, Institutional Administration, Philanthropic Foundations, Private Financial Support, Program Proposals, Publications, Standards
National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, 810 18th St., N.W., Suite 408, Washington, DC 20006.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, Washington, DC.