ON-Lion Letter
Protecting the intent of philanthropic donors has always been a core priority for the Philanthropy Roundtable and the Alliance for Charitable Reform in Washington, D.C.  Roundtable president Adam Meyerson wrote in a March Wall Street Journal op-ed, "When Philanthropy Goes Wrong," that "one of the great scandals in modern philanthropy is that trustees and staff of grant-making institutions all too often pay little attention to the principles governing their founders' charitable giving."  Meyerson highlighted the Ford Foundation as an example of why it was important for donors to make clear the intentions for their philanthropic contributions.

In response, the Ford Foundation's Marta Tellado wrote a letter to The Wall Street Journal, defending the foundation's good work in many philanthropic areas.  "Whether in funding the fight against apartheid, the green revolution, the civil rights movement or the creation of Sesame Street," she wrote, "the Ford Foundation has helped hundreds of millions of people around the world live freer, better, more prosperous lives."

Meyerson posted a response to Ford's Tellado on the Roundtable's website, which can be found online.  In the response, he again stresses the importance of philanthropists clearly defining their charitable giving objectives, neglecting to do so at their own peril.  He points to the Ford charter, which vaguely states "to administer funds for scientific, educational and charitable purposes, all for the public welfare," offering very broad guidance, leaving much to interpretation of the foundation leadership at any given time.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports the Roundtable.
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