The Foundation Center is to keep an ‘Eye on the Giving Pledge’, launched by Warren Buffett and the Gateses. The new move, described by the Foundation Center as a ‘resource’, is part of the Center’s Glasspockets website whose aim is to encourage greater transparency in philanthropy. The Eye has profiles of the 81 individuals and families that have signed the Pledge to date. The profiles detail participants’ net worth, primary industry affiliation, giving interests, related foundations, charitable board service and philanthropic press coverage. The demographic make-up of the pledgers, their ages and where they come from will also be included in the Eye’s information.
At an estimated $200 billion to date, the potential significance for philanthropy of the amount likely to come from the current pledges is obvious. The difficulty for those interested in these matters is knowing when the pledges are realized. As Janet Camarena, who leads the Foundation Center’s Glasspockets initiative, remarks: ‘Because there is no specific timeline for the Giving Pledge gifts to be made, “Eye on the Giving Pledge” provides a way to follow how those who have signed on are, through their foundations and personal giving, fulfilling their pledge.’
Whether those who have made the pledge will welcome the Eye as a way of assessing and publicizing the fulfilment of the pledge or resent it as a means to try to hold them to their good intentions remains to be seen.
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