Critic Calls Grants Aligned With Government Programs "Crony Philanthropy"

Monday, July 7, 2014
Critic Calls Grants Aligned With Government Programs "Crony Philanthropy"
Writing in Forbes, Howard Husock, vice president for policy research at the Manhattan Institute, says that a $10 million commitment from UBS to help underserved students attain a college education is an example of corporate leaders using philanthropy to curry favor with elected officials.
While saying he has "no doubt at all that helping young men of color…is a crucial goal," he takes issue with UBS for characterizing its grant as support for President Obama's My Brother's Keeper initiative.
To Husock, the grant is a form of "crony philanthropy—corporate philanthropic donations made to funds or causes designated or directed by elected officials. By helping a cause or organization  with which an elected official is associated —and may be directly involved –donors have a chance to put themselves in the good graces of those same officials."
Adds Husock, "To the extent which government directs philanthropy, we are at risk of compromising its originality and creativity.  Historically, government, business and philanthropy in the United States have operated independently of each other. It is not obvious that that should change."...
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