Share the Power: Reflections on Transparency from the Bush Foundation

NOTE: Jen Ford Reedy is President of the Bush Foundation. On the occasion of her fifth anniversary leading the foundation, she reflects through this five-part series for the Glasspockets blog her staff and board’s efforts to make the Bush Foundation more permeable.


 

There’s a famous philanthropy quote that defines foundations as “a large body of money completely surrounded by people who want some.”

There’s truth in this statement, and it can lead foundations to have a fortress mentality — building moats and barricades in the form of needle-eye guidelines or brick wall websites. The stronger our defenses, however, the more difficult it is to be exposed to enough ideas and engage with enough people to be truly effective.

Over the past five years at the Bush Foundation, we have worked actively against this fortress mentality, first by adopting a set of core operating values, that helped to fuel and shape what was to follow. We believe our efforts have made us smarter and more effective. Over the next five days I’ll describe what else we have done, in the form of Five Principles of No Moat Philanthropy.

Read more at the Foundation Center’s Glasspockets website.

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Power Dynamics in Family Philanthropy

This Content Collection shares perspectives from nonprofit leaders and foundation colleagues on the challenges of power dynamics in family philanthropy, and possible solutions for how to address these issues.

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