Fearless vision

By Todd Cohen

Charity needs inspiration.

Nonprofits, foundations, corporate givers and individual donors are critical players in America, pitching in to address urgent social needs.

But they are struggling, their vision blurred, their impact eroding.

Backed by donations of money and volunteer time, nonprofits handle the messy jobs that government has abandoned.

Politicians have caved in to voters who demand the benefits of government but hijack it from its role giving those in need a helping hand and a fair shot in the marketplace.

So the American dream is fading for millions who cannot afford it.

Charity may be the last hope for reviving that dream, but charity itself has lost its way.

Overwhelmed with mending the social safety net, and under attack from regulators and lawmakers, nonprofits struggle to deliver services and keep their doors open.

And funders, self-absorbed, self-righteous and near-sighted, speed up the treadmill.

Foundations, corporate givers and individual donors need to open their eyes, and invest their money and know-how to help nonprofits operate more effectively.

And they must work with one another and with nonprofits and government to fix public policies that keep millions of Americans in crisis.

Charity needs new vision and a fearless fight for change.

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

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