Making choices

By Todd Cohen

Charities need to act.

Despite social ills of crisis proportions, politicians and government will not look beyond plugging holes and surviving the next election.

So the job of pushing for change falls to charity.

Charity can lead by bringing together government, nonprofit and business leaders in a “civic assembly” to create a vision and business plan to take on the broad range of complex and interconnected social problems troubling our communities.

Change requires making choices, but fear of excluding any interest group or cause has kept  charity and government from clearly defining problems, recognizing their common roots and working together to attack them.

With our social fabric and safety net in tatters, we need smart leaders who can work together, take risks and move forward.

Asking tough questions is critical:

* What are the biggest social problems we face?

* How are they connected?

* What strategies work, and how can they be integrated?

* Who has the money, know-how and tools to pursue those strategies, and how can they be pooled and put to the smartest use?

America is stuck with leaders who will not lead.

By pushing for tough choices, charity can lead in making change happen.

Todd Cohen is the Editor and Publisher of the Philanthropy Journal.

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