Few major foundations in US spending much to counter damage caused by Trump

June 28, 2017 | By: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Mark Blumberg
Topics: News

Here is an article in the Non-Profit Quarterly (NPQ) that is worth reading: Are Foundations Part of the Resistance? Challenges to Elite Donors in a Neo-Populist Age.  It suggests that few major foundations in the US which support areas such as health care or assistance to the poor that are directly under attack by the Trump administration are doing anything publicly to challenge these attacks.

The article notes:

Regarding the big foundations, almost all of them support causes threatened by the new administration, including environmental and climate protection, internationalist foreign policy, assistance to the poor, and the rights of marginalized groups. These (mostly progressive) foundations give away billions each year, and we might expect some of these dollars to be redirected toward the emerging “resistance” movement. Nevertheless, what we have found in our initial research (through May 1st) is that few foundations are shifting programmatic resources toward contesting those Trump initiatives that run directly counter to foundation priorities. One can review major foundations’ websites and see not the slightest hint of trouble in the policy areas they work on. For example, the Packard Foundation is a forceful proponent of arresting global climate change, yet there’s not a word on its website about the Trump administration’s hostility to climate change regulation. There could not be a more passionate advocate of expanding healthcare to all than the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, but you wouldn’t know the Affordable Care Act is under attack from the foundation’s formal statements.

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Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.

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