The Fawning of the Foundations
April 30, 2010, Wall Street Journal — It's no surprise that President Obama, with a lengthy background in the non-profit sector, has made strong efforts to reach out to the philanthropic community. What may come as a surprise is just how exhilarated the philanthropic community is by the attention.
This year's Council on Foundations conference, which concluded Tuesday in Denver, offered a revealing glimpse into the nexus of an administration eager to obtain the support of the non-profit world, and a community of increasingly politicized foundations who see bountiful opportunities for legislative achievements emanating from the current White House.
A tone of mutual congratulation pervaded the conference, first exemplified by remarks from Valerie Jarrett, a long-time adviser to President Obama and manager of the White House Office of Public Engagement, which oversees public-private liaison efforts."Why did I have such a great amount of confidence at the beginning of our administration?" she said to the assembled foundation worthies. "It's because of you."