The McIntosh Foundation has approached philanthropy with an entrepreneurial spirit rooted in the source of the Foundation’s endowment: a successful, worldwide family business. We believe there is a distinct difference between charity and philanthropy. The greater need is always for short-term solutions to a problem; these are the needs that charity addresses. Philanthropy uses the funds available to take long-term approaches to solving the cause of those short-term needs for charity.
Budget fight with Congress. Congress appropriates, Administration spends
Empoundment hurting states/education
University of Florida law school
Law students have opportunity for clinical experience
Research and case law developed
Outreach to 12 state’s attorney’s general
Class action law suit brought to Supreme Court
Nixon’s actions found unconstitutional/Congressional budget upheld, states gain education funding that had been withheld by Nixon.
Attention to Foundation from Administration/IRS
Eventual outcome ended this particular form of political manuvering for all parties
ClientEarth..a case study of public interest law Our funds recently are being spent to establish and build the capacity of the first public interest law firm in the UK and Europe. ClientEarth is a non-profit law firm dedicated to addressing the sources of environmental problems, enforcing the laws already in place, and advising the governments of 27 nations to govern responsibly on the issue. We consider this a wise investment in our future and a strategic use of philanthropic dollars/pounds. Make no mistake, this is a long-term investment for us and our fellow funding partners which we expect to take a large portion of our time, expertise, and treasure for the next 10 years at least.
Advising Ireland draft the new Climate Change Act for Ireland
Submitted to the European Commission on Fisheries a plan for reform at their request
Actively engaged with the UK government on coal fired power plants, part of an ongoing campaign to stop new plants.
Submitted letter to the European Council, Commission, and Parliament calling for action on tougher energy efficiency standards at the European Summit this month.
Researched and presented a major paper on the practical impacts of the Lisbon Treaty on EU environmental law and distributed to governmental and ngo leaders.
Participate in Forums on the inadequacy of Mayor of London plans to clean up London’s air before the Olympics.
Conducting a major study in Poland on the new coal plants planned there, and developing legal strategies to insure those plants, if built, capture their carbon.
Awaiting two legal actions challenging the legality of denying access to the courts in both the UK and EU under the Aarhus Treaty that all 27 countries have signed on environmental law enforcements.
I want to leave you with this thought about your work…
The social sector’s most important asset may be its independence, not only from governments but from the snap judgments of markets or electoral politics, influenced by the 24-hour news cycle. In a world of complex problems, the social sector – philanthropy and those it supports – may be the only sector able to take risks, withstand criticism and make long-term investments in the public interest
Passion is the lifeblood of good philanthropy because it sustains ones giving over the course of a lifetime.
Effective philanthropy, like anything in life, requires experimentation and long term commitment. Some things work. Some don’t. But without passion as an underlying motivator, no one will have the gumption, stamina, and drive to weather failure and truly make a difference.