Friday, March 13, 2009

Darwinian or Donor-winning?

At its most basic, charity is about giving without the expectation of return. Often charities push against the "invisible hand" of the marketplace as they act selflessly to feed those without money for food, clothe those without access to credit, provide spiritual guidance to those who have no church, etc. Now here's food for thought. In a recent article in The Nation, Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University, predicted that "at a minimum" more than 100,000 nonprofit organizations would be wiped out in the next two years. 

The Nation reported that Light went on to ask the assembled audience whether any of them had tuned in to the recent hearing in Washington on the impending nonprofit upheaval. The room fell silent. Light then admitted he'd missed the deliberations as well, because, alas, there hadn't been any. "We should demand a hearing immediately on the state of the nonprofit sector--immediately," he declared. 

Would you attend such a session? Would you come to a meeting in Charleston to discuss what should or should not be done to save collapsing nonprofits? Are some too big to fail? Are some expendable? What is your view?

1 comment:

Christine said...

Paul Light makes a very good point. Thanks for sharing it. The interesting fact about this country is that it thrives because of the nonprofit sector that provides so many of the services, programs, and activities that most Americans benefit from. The loss of 100K organizations over the next 2 years will be a shame and a huge loss. That would most likely include afterschool reading programs, art classes, special needs education, food banks and yes, probably churches. Who will make up the gap when the gap was the reason for these organization's inception in the first place?