[Note: This was cross-posted October 1, 2014 by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.]
Arthur Schopenhauer said, “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
I’m no expert on German philosophers, but Schopenhauer really nails it. Just think of the cause of marriage equality, which has followed exactly that course, passing from ridicule to violent opposition to acceptance as self-evident over the course of the last twenty years.
The effort to reform donor-advised funds (DAFs) does not have nearly the societal ramifications of the marriage equality issue. That said, donor-advised fund reform is an enormously important issue for American philanthropy, and when viewed through a Schopenhauerian lens, the effort has recently transitioned into the second phase of truth: violent opposition. Continue reading