Full text of “Foundations, America Foundations; Their Power And Influence Rene A Wormser ()”. See other formats. FOUNDATIONS RENE A. WORMSER. Rene Wormser was the counsel for a congressional committee commissioned to investigate the great tax-exempt foundations. Despite opposition from the. I read Foundations: Their Power and Influence by RenĂ© A. Wormser. This book is a third printing from by Covenant House Books.

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They have adopted the concept that foundations should be clearing-houses for ideas, and they must accept responsibility for the results of their selected patronage. All that the Federal Gov- ernment can do, however, is to withdraw its tax exemption and the corresponding tax benefits to donors.

Moreover, it materially increases this power and its influence by building collateral alliances which serve greatly to insulate it against criticism. Inthe Byzantine Emperor Constantine Kopronymos, after first attempting to tax the holdings of the numerous monasteries which had become too powerful, confiscated their properties, which had been donated by generations of Christians for chari- table purposes and pious causes.

Char- ity is a virtue attributed to physical persons. In appeared a book written by Frederick P.

Full text of “Foundations, America Foundations; Their Power And Influence Rene A Wormser ( )”

At the time of the reign of Henry VIII in England, the Church held two thirds of the votes in the House of Lords; owned one third of the land, foundationw the best of it; and possessed an income two and one half times that of the Crown.

Is he, then, likely to run counter to what may be wanted by a foun- dation considering him for a grant? Like all studies by Congressional committees, the investigations took place in an atmosphere of some political passion. In a democratic a.wrmser, at least, the SSRC did not represent Ameri- can scholarship in the social sciences.

The real a.wormsser of foundations rests in their ability to provide war chests in the bat- tle of ideas. In the corporate mechanics of the foundations he sees one of the most menacing trends resulting from the social patterns of an age controlled by organization bureaucrats.

Rowe testified before the Reece Committee, efficiency is by no means the most desirable factor in research. The large number of famous names on the list of trustees is due to an old superstition that our institutions must be headed a.wprmser a famous group of men.

But there is little promise of this happening. The Internal Revenue Service seems alert to the problem involved and is likely to propose successive, cor- rective legislative measures whenever new business abuses of the tax-exemption privilege appear. ppwer


Foundations: Their Power and Influence

My criticism of them is confined to their almost universally common characteristic of permitting their social, intellectual and, principally, their political predilections to affect their work as ad- ministrators of public trusts. A certain form of “liberalism” is currently ortho- dox in intellectual circles. This ought not to x.wormser possible. The Committee sought out guiding principles for future founda- tion behavior rather than grounds for punishing past errors.

One who is not can still get there, but it is infinitely more difficult. Influencs Reece Committee report gave one rather shocking example of a type of tax avoidance.

Lists with This Book. While there is much overlapping, foundations might be di- vided into three classes: Laidler of the LID insisted upon a similarity between the work of the LID and some college courses in the social sciences.

These distinctions come often from re- search and writing. Paperback powrr, pages.

Foundations: Their Power and Influence by Rene A. Wormser

It just grew into being, but it is none the less dangerous as a concentration of power. This is indicated by a a.wormder by Messrs.

The normal checks and balances in our public life can be annihilated through one-sided foundation support of the forces calling for change. What is orthodox today may be daring tomorrow; and what was daring twenty or thirty years ago may be orthodox today. Its report discloses one of its purposes: Hundreds of years ago, the Church introduced rules against nepotism.

By the time the final project is formulated, it becomes clear that nothing will be proposed or performed which may be interpreted as a challenge to the orthodox conception of value which characterizes foundations as a whole.

They screen the thousands of applications for grants that come in every year; they look into new fields for spending; they think up problems worth solving the first problem a foundation faces is what is the problem and select the institutions or the people to try to solve them; they carry on the nego- tiations, often protracted, and the inquiries, often delicate, that may or may not lead to a grant, and they follow up the grants that are made; they dictate the systolic flow of memoranda that is the blood stream of a modern foundation.

A more subtle and much more widespread control comes about by Teason of foundqtions multitude inluence indirect relationships in which foundations play a part. Such scholars are often seduced into group research because of the difficulty of getting individual grants and because of the financial lure of generous foundation subsidy for large projects.

Foundations, America Foundations; Their Power And Influence Rene A Wormser ( 1958)

Gf the 4, foundations listed, 77, inheld 3 billion of the aggregate of 7 billion in assets. This is a corporation in the nature of a foundation, which plays a very important part in government research.


Moreover, it materially increases this power and its influence by building collateral alliances which serve greatly to insulate it against renw. This influence reaches the public through the schools and acad- demies, through publicity, and through educational and other as- sociations dedicated to public and international affairs.

The donating foundations sought to absolve themselves of re- sponsibility for foundationz resulted. John rated it liked it Feb 14, It was our in- tention to find the factual basis for preserving their constructive functions and at the same time influende supplying guidance for future legislation and administrative action against the use of foundation power for political ends. All this can add up to conformity. Chairman Walsh was concerned lest the granting of funds for schools might result in “persons being educated taking the influecne point, consciously or unconsciously, of the man that gave the money or the foundation that gave the money.

To continue the wide- spread practice of simultaneous directorships in grant-giving and grant-receiving institutions is against the public interest. Among public-relations consultants the practice of publicly establishing the virtue of a previously de- spised person or institution by forming a tax-exempt foundation and beating the drum for it is quite common.

Andrews, in his Philanthropic Foundationsdefends this practice by saying that “adequate research facilities and the ablest personnel are largely concentrated in these places. Such administra- tors will freely admit that they do not like to receive restricted or earmarked grants and would far prefer to a.wkrmser unfettered in their disposition of money given to their institutions.

Emerson Andrews, in his Philanthropic FoundationSj writing of the venture capital concept, has this to say: This latter angle involves the distribution of grants among institutions and the concentration of research in fields at the expense of other fields fuondations the distortion of the institutional picture as a whole.

He quotes a study that found fifty-four trus- teeships in twenty-nine foundations held by men who were also trustees of universities. Is the potential of power of tueir great and wealthy charitable organization any the less a danger because it has no religious affiliation?

One wonders whether this survey will be as penetrating as the Rockefeller study of The Institute theie Pacific Relations. It is a different matter with organizations created to pursue partisan ends and using the dues of members for this pur- pose.