The foundation sector should be embracing minimum payouts but instead sits silent or works in active opposition to them. This will not change, but it should.
Foundations are averse to regulation. It is a thing that they fear because it involves an acceptance of responsibilities over rights. The premise that ‘it’s our money and we will do what we want with it’ is threatened by every addition to legislation, regulation and even acceptance of best practice.
As with every other sector, regulation is rarely embraced – there is a presumption that those in charge know best and a desire to be left to get on and do their jobs with as little interference as possible. The difference is that the foundation world has succeeded where others have failed in the deterrent of anything from guidelines to codes of practice to legal responsibilities.
Philanthropy sees itself as special, unlike business or the public sector, and therefore deserving of more independence and less scrutiny. I agree that philanthropy is special, unlike business or the public sector, but surely we should conclude it deserving of higher standards, not lower ones.