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How Foundations Work: What Grantseekers Need to Know About the Many Faces of Foundations by Dennis P. McIlnay

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Chapter Four

Foundations as Citizens: How Accessible and Accountable Are Foundations?

As a group, [foundations] are institutions like no others, operating in their own unique degree of abstraction from external pressures and controls, according to their own largely self-imposed rules. They are private, and yet their activities cut across a broad spectrum of public concerns and public issues. They are the only important power centers in American life not controlled by market forces, electoral constituencies, bodies of members, or even formally established canons of conduct, all of which give them their extraordinary flexibility and potential influence. Yet they remain little known and less understood, shrouded in mystery, inspiring in some ...

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