Common sense

By Todd Cohen

Charity has work to do.

However Americans voted as individuals, we still face the job as a society of fixing huge problems ranging from poverty and hunger to poor health and bad schools.

Voters’ fixation on tax cuts will put even greater stress on charities already scrambling to serve the swelling ranks of people hurt by our struggling economy.

To better meet rising social needs and shape policy to right social wrongs, charities must dig even deeper, taking time to take stock of their organizations, and then doing what it takes to strengthen their operations, programs and fundraising.

Voting lets us choose a leader and a set of ideas to guide how we deal with problems, but it does not begin to define citizenship.

In a society torn between those wanting to limit government and those wanting it to give a hand to people on the margins, charities can be a voice for common sense, help create common ground and push for change.

First, though, charities must become more effective and enterprising, helped by citizens who must move beyond voting by contributing their time, know-how and money.

The work of charity and citizenship has just begun.

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

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