Celebrate Charities! Individuals & Governments Can’t Do That Work

Courtesy of rAmmoRRison on Flickr.
A stray cat has climbed a tree and can’t get down. Neighbors try and can’t coax it. Police and fire say, “We haven’t done that since Andy Griffith was the sheriff of Mayberry.” Who you gonna call? A charity.

That’s what happened in my neighborhood.

There’s so much work that needs to be done which individuals and governments aren’t suited for. But when individuals collectivize into charities, taking advantage of state and federal laws, there’s no end to the good works they can do and valuable impacts they can achieve.

Yet, I’m concerned about the future of our charitable community in the U.S. The lines are slowly eroding between charitable and corporate. Paul Clolery, editor of The Nonprofit Times, voiced the same concern in my interview with him for Nonprofit Radio. I’ve got other media data points too.

I’ve blogged this three times before. The most recent, “Corporatization Redux II” has links to the first two.

And I see some bad practices in Planned Giving are morphing into conventional wisdom that could really hurt the sector. Chasing young prospects and highly speculative gift counting worry me.

Incrementalism is the way most devastating change slips past us. Each modest step goes unnoticed, until a decade has passed and everyone wonders what happened.

I’ll be blogging my concerns shortly.

Nevertheless, celebrate the charitable community in our country, and around the world!

The cat’s out of the bag: charities do good works that others cannot.

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