What the Generosity Commission Unwittingly Teaches Us About Itself

"What's wrong with Americans? Why have they become less generous and less giving of their time? Why have they lost trust in the system of tax-incentivized charitable giving upon which The Generosity Commission sit?" That's the question the group's co-chair, Aspen Institute VP Jane Wales, poses in a Washington Post op-ed about the state of charitable giving in the US.

Wales is co-chair of the Generosity Commission, a self-appointed, nondemocratic group of philanthropic elites funded by America's wealthiest foundations, charitable investment banks, and for-profit fundraising and charitable-data corporations, which plan to issue a report in 2024 with recommendations on how average Americans can give and do more.

The Post reports that between 2000 and 2016, more than 20 million families stopped giving to government-sanctioned nonprofit organizations, and volunteerism hit a 15-year low in 2015.

Wales notes that "civil society appears to The Generosity Commission elites to be in shambles."

What's going on, she asks, is a "great divide between elite institutional philanthropic culture and how everyday Americans give."

According to Wales, "well-educated, monied Americans from intact families donate and volunteer at higher rates than those from less-exceptional

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