In the lead up to last year’s US presidential election, many foundation insiders were predicting a Clinton win followed by a “golden age of public-private partnerships, along with new high-level access for funders and non-profits working on women’s and family issues”[1]. How remote that notion now seems, with the US philanthropic sector left grappling with how best to respond to a previously ‘unthinkable’ presidency.

Some American foundation executives are conspicuously silent or agnostic about the Trump administration. Others, such as Sharon Alpert, president and CEO of Nathan Cummings Foundation, are deeply concerned about policy and program rollbacks among minority communities.

In Australia, Trump’s recent undercutting of the longstanding US-Australia diplomatic alliance has caused understandable consternation. But more concerning, perhaps, is the reactionary politics his presidency also serves to legitimise, including Pauline Hanson’s anti-Muslim agenda, as noted recently in the Sydney Morning Herald:

Trumpism is an angry, nationalist populism. It's not uniquely a Trump phenomenon but it is the force he has awoken and exploited to great effect. Populism is non-partisan,…

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