Does transparency in philanthropy matter?

David Fahrenthold won the Pulitzer for reporting this year, for reporting on Donald J Trump Foundation, the current President’s charity. His entry into this subject is interesting, as he points out in this video.

Transparency, accountability and efficiency are the new trinity of philanthropy it seems. With greater calls for accountability and transparency, the American public is asking for more. But is this call being met by donors or those who run foundations? I am not quite sure.

One of the biggest criticisms of foundations is their lack of transparency and lack of accountability to anyone. Foundations are started by wealthy individuals, who want to create a certain change in the world. Often, it is for good. However, there are instances, as we have seen in the current political climate, where individuals have gone against commonsense and scientific consensus to fund climate change deniers, anti-public school initiatives etc. How does this bode well for democracy?

The answer is all too clear. Not too well.

But the Pulitzer committee seems to have recognized the importance of this issue in choosing Fahrenthold as the winner.

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