Monday, November 18, 2013

In Detroit, Secrecy and the Private Bailing Out of City-Owed Pensions

The Nonprofit Quarterly pens a good article on two major problems with Judge Rosen's secret meeting with major private foundations in hope of brainstorming a financial solution that would exclude selling any or all of the Detroit Institute of Art's collection. The two major problems the NPQ sees are secrecy and the question of whether private foundations should be bailing out city-owed pensions.
The American public dislikes secrecy, no matter how you slice it. When foundations play into that, all their high statements about engagement and openness fly out the window. 
On the role of philanthropies in society, the NPQ has this to say,
But if their sense of civic pride or civic duty lures them into bailing out the city from the demands of its creditors, pensions or others, Detroit’s foundations will be not only depriving Detroit’s nonprofit sector of badly needed resources, but setting a very troubling precedent. How many other cities will lean on their civic-minded local foundations for bailouts like Detroit’s?
The entire NPQ article is available here.

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