Telling story a critical job for charity

By Todd Cohen

Katrina has given charities everywhere a rare chance to make their case.

While the catastrophe in the Gulf Coast grabs public and media attention, it also spotlights the unseen and unsung work of charities.

Many charities fear support for Katrina relief will hurt their fundraising.

But Katrina’s impact cuts to the core of what charity and philanthropy are all about.

The disaster has created the need for immediate and ongoing help for its victims for life’s basic necessities.

It also has laid bare deep flaws in our social fabric.

The human suffering exposed by Katrina is rooted in a massive failure in public policy.

That failure bears the mark of short-sighted politicians, selfish taxpayers, greedy special interests, self-absorbed philanthropies and stressed charities fearful of biting the hand that feeds them.

So instead of pushing to change what is wrong in America, charities drift with the rising tide of human poverty, bad schools, poor health, and mindless violence and intolerance that put millions of Americans at risk.

Charities everywhere must take the lead in enlisting and pushing donors, government and business to help fix and change what is wrong.

By speaking up, charities can secure the support they need for change.

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

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