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February 06, 2013


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Steven E. Mayer

Per your request, here are two factors that in my view contribute most strongly to holding back the field.

1) Board members who are instinctively afraid of change, or who think that by virtue of their position as trustee to a donor’s memory or money they must keep things as they were in the donor’s lifetime, or who think that by advocating change they will weaken their standing within their social set. I.e., trustees who are change-averse.

2) Board members who are so accustomed to the business model -– a view dominated by short-term management of controllable minutiae unrelated to the usually noble missions of these philanthropic organizations -- that they cannot think outside the limited box they’re used to in their more usual business/legal/financial settings. I.e., trustees who are unfamiliar with how change happens outside the world of business management.

Steven E. Mayer / www.JustPhilanthropy.org

It's still the system, man

Let's not forget the chicken-hearted foundation CEOs who quail at the prospect of presenting the most basic truths about inequality in the US to the aforementioned board members.

phil cubeta

Generally, when a verdict is announced, the judge moves to the sentencing phase. Where are we with that?


have to agree with mr. mayer, with a few modifications: trustee aversion is usually about not wanting to cede control over power and resources (usually money). then there's racism, the fear of a black planet.

Alejandro H. Fukit

My aunt used to work at a convening and died believing an abdominal tumor was holy impregnation.

The sad thing is, except for the spelling, this is true.

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