The right of charitable donors to remain anonymous has long been a hallmark of American philanthropy. Several major Supreme Court cases, among them NAACP v. Alabama, have established donor privacy as a constitutionally protected right. Recently, however, a growing number of political leaders and law enforcement officials are calling for donor information to be made public. While there is certainly a place in philanthropy for accountability and transparency, The Philanthropy Roundtable argues that the reckless disclosure of donor information to the government or the public undermines private philanthropy’s ability to effectively address society’s most challenging issues. As a result of their giving, prominent philanthropists are often the victims of harassment and boycotts, threatening the safety of their families and employees. Increased publicity of donor information would serve to exacerbate this problem. Only in the most compelling circumstances should the right of donors to remain private be open to curtailment.
To learn more about the importance of safeguarding anonymous giving, download the white paper above.