ON-Lion Letter
"The distinctive characteristic of American philanthropy is freedom," begins Naomi Schaefer Riley's new monograph, American Philanthropic Diversity:  What It Means, Why It Matters, from the Philanthropy Roundtable in Washington, D.C.

"Americans are free to give to the charities they care about most" and "[t]he result has been an awe-inspiring display of human ingenuity," continues Riley, deputy Taste editor of The Wall Street Journal.  "The dimensions of our philanthropic diversity are revealed in the religious, geographical, and philosophic scope of American charity."

Riley's Roundtable monograph overviews these various dimensions of grantmaking diversity.

"True diversity does not come from charitable organizations meeting some cosmetic ratio of race, ethnicity, and gender (or any other arbitrary criterion) among staff, boards, and grantees," she concludes.  "That is a cramped, narrow, and unnatural understanding of diversity.  Rather, true diversity exists when many different individuals and many different institutions freely commit themselves to a sweeping array of charitable activities."

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