“Appropriate” Transparency

Foundations do not, in fact, have to share everything to be transparent. Several foundation leaders have spoken about “appropriate” transparency, which helps better meet both the mission and obligation of a foundation. These leaders reminded us that certain aspects of foundation work don’t need to be open and accessible, because privacy will enable better work and efficiency. Some foundations fund sensitive work, such as that carried out by human rights groups. Being open about the work these groups are doing could put them and the people they serve in danger. On the whole, it is important to make information about all aspects of a foundation’s operations open and accessible, but only to the point that being transparent doesn’t do harm to its programs or operations.

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by Candid Learning for Funders using the guide's research data or themes post-publication. Attribution is given if the takeaway is a quotation.

This takeaway was derived from Opening Up.