Elise Westhoff Discusses Philanthropy in End-of-Year Interview on WMAL

Elise Westhoff Discusses Philanthropy in End-of-Year Interview on WMAL

Jan 04, 2022 Staff

Last week, Philanthropy Roundtable President and CEO Elise Westhoff spoke with WMAL “O’Connor & Company” radio hosts Larry O’Connor and Patrice Onwuka, also a Philanthropy Roundtable adjunct senior fellow, about the longstanding tradition of American philanthropy. 

“We’ve always been an entrepreneurial country and one that’s really focused on private solutions – and that’s why people gravitate toward helping their neighbors, having a strong civil society,” Westhoff said.

She affirmed that Americans are more generous than ever, citing record-level highs in charitable giving. Nevertheless, she warned there are efforts underway in Congress, such as the King-Grassley bill, that threaten philanthropy. 

“We’re seeing a push to force people to give on a certain timeline in a certain way,” she said. “What has made the tradition of American philanthropy so strong is the fact that it’s always been voluntary. It’s never been coerced. You just can’t mandate or force virtue.”

She went on to say this legislation is the “exact opposite” of what our country needs … and will harm people who are struggling.  

Listen to the full interview here.