ICYMI: Stand With Us for Philanthropy
From Council on Foundations:
We invite philanthropic and nonprofit organizations to sign on to the statement below to join the Council on Foundations and Independent Sector in supporting the rights of philanthropic organizations, charitable nonprofits, and individual donors to give in ways that align with their values.
We believe that philanthropic organizations, charitable nonprofits, and individual donors have the right to exercise their values and views through giving money and other resources, as protected by the First Amendment. That includes efforts to support historically marginalized groups.
Right now, those fundamental rights are under attack, in the form of a lawsuit by the American Alliance for Equal Rights. AAER has sued the Atlanta-based Fearless Foundation – led by Black women and committed to providing grants, tools, and mentorship to women of color – claiming that its program for Black female entrepreneurs is racially discriminatory.
While we have different views, funding priorities and values, we, the undersigned, stand together in affirming that:
- Philanthropic donations support our communities in ways that mirror the diversity of our priorities and interests.
- Charitable giving is expressive conduct and a form of nonpartisan, constitutionally protected speech.
- Philanthropy has a positive impact for communities and charitable causes across the country, including supporting historically marginalized groups and communities.
- Philanthropic organizations, charitable nonprofits, and individual donors have the right to exercise their views through giving, as protected by the First Amendment, even when others might disagree with where a funder chooses to donate. However, together, we have a duty to ensure that charitable dollars never promote hate, extremism, and violence.
We are committed to making it easier for organizations and people to give, across all dimensions of society, not harder. We call on the courts to dismiss this lawsuit and uphold the First Amendment rights of philanthropic organizations, charitable nonprofits, and individual donors to give in ways that align with their values.