Tag Archives: CFED

“It’s Their Money.” Well, Sort Of.

There are occupational hazards to writing about philanthropy.

One is that when I make a critical comment about donors, I run the risk of being chastised for passing judgment. I’m told it’s none of my business how people choose to be charitable, that I should stop picking nits and simply honor their good intentions. The most frequent phrase I hear: “Remember: It’s their money!

But is it really their money? For most major donors, not entirely. Let me explain. Continue reading

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Closing the Divide

(Note: This entry is cross-posted in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.)

In this election year we’ve heard plenty about the 47%, the 1% and the 99%. The expanding wealth gap has become a major election issue, as it should be. Decisions in the coming years about taxes, access to education, jobs and workers’ rights are intertwined with reversing the growing wealth imbalance.

Undoubtedly the most effective approach to narrowing the wealth gap is political. But is there a role that individual donors can play? There certainly is, but it requires a break from traditional philanthropy. Continue reading

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