In His Own Words. A Q&A With Vartan Gregorian (Part 3 of 5). “Propelling Continuity Through Change”
Reminding Americans that, as individuals, their aggregate annual giving exceeds $300 billion, the vast majority coming from the middle class and even poor people, Vartan Gregorian argues that philanthropy has become part of the American ethos.
In the third installment of a provocative five-part interview, Gregorian analyzes Andrew Carnegie’s ideals and their influence on philanthropists. Regardless of the magnitude of their gifts, most philanthropists, Gregorian says, agree with Andrew Carnegie "that to be a capitalist is about more than money." Wealth, he says, brings with it responsibilities as a citizen.
Speaking with Susan King, Carnegie Corporation’s Vice President of External Affairs and a former journalist, Gregorian urges foundations to be ever mindful of their responsibility to the public. For it is the public, he says, that has given the approval for foundations to be tax exempt.
In the interview, Gregorian also reveals his impetus for the Corporation’s support of fellowships that have enabled more than 5,000 African women to attend and graduate from university, referring to women as “the primary source of the transformation of societies and nations.”