Foundations should invest more directly in people and less in bureaucracy, Queen Noor told more than 2,000 people who gathered in Los Angeles for the annual conference of the Council on Foundations, the Washington Post reports.
“The most effective forms of philanthropy are based on respect and partnership with those we are pledging to help,” the American-born widow of King Hussein said. A paternalistic approach to charity work is no longer appropriate, she added.
“My husband understood that throughout the world, the minds of the people are the greatest resource,” she said about King Hussein. The ideal foundation would reflect the king’s life of service to others and respect for those being served, she said.
The King Hussein Foundation promotes peace-building projects with an emphasis on youth and education, environment, health, democracy and international understanding, the Post reports.
Queen Noor questioned the conservation of money by American foundations to preserve their endowments, suggesting that the five percent payout policy should be reevaluated. Several hundred attendees responded to her comments with applause, the Post said.
As head of the Noor Al Hussein Foundation for the past 15 years, Queen Noor has supported development programs in the Middle East that emphasize women’s rights and their economic power, the Post reports.