Philanthropic engagement critical

By Todd Cohen

America faces big problems, and nonprofits face big challenges in addressing them.

A “culture of poverty” is engulfing the U.S., and our civic health has declined broadly over the last 30 years, people attending the annual meetings of Catholic Charities USA and the National Conference on Citizenship, respectively, were told recently.

With nonprofits multiplying, and fueling competition for support, and with the face of America changing dramatically and Americans across the board looking for ways to donate their time, know-how and money, a growing number of efforts are underway to help nonprofits and givers be more effective and connect with one another.

In North Carolina, a new donor-advised fund known as NCGives is supporting giving by African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, women and young people.

The Atlantic Philanthropies are making grants to community foundations to help people over age 60 help improve their communities.

And a new Ad Council public-service ad campaign aims to move Americans to get involved in helping those in need.

Change requires attacking problems at their roots, working together and improving the way philanthropy works.

Nonprofits and donors must think big, think ahead, and engage one another in the job of fixing our most urgent problems.

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

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