Ken Goldstein, MPPA

Ken Goldstein has been working in nonprofits and local government agencies from Santa Cruz, to Sacramento, and back to Silicon Valley, since 1989. He's been staff, volunteer, board member, executive director, and, since 2003, a consultant to local nonprofit organizations. For more on Ken's background, click here. If you are interested in retaining Ken's services, you may contact him at ken at

Monday, July 17, 2006

Charity or Philanthropy?

Karen Woods, of the Acton Institute, has a new commentary posted on Charity vs. Philanthropy in which she draws a distinction between philanthropy (of the sort practiced by Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and others) and charity (as practiced by the average person):
Philanthropy, for all its good intentions, does not necessarily imply a personal connection with the needy person - though it can and sometimes does. Philanthropy is the more institutional, "big-picture" cousin of charity, which is the personal and direct connection to those in need.
It's an interesting distinction she draws, with a focus on the importance of that personal, grass-roots connection that small-donor charity brings. In Woods' view, one is the micro and the other the macro, and both are necessary.

Of course, by these definitions, we'd all prefer to be the beneficiary of Philanthropy rather than just charity. But, as Woods points out, while philanthropy may be attractive to our budget process, most nonprofit work "is generally conducted by small, community based, often faith-informed, programs without dependence on big government" - and that is her definition of charity.

Tags: , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment