Over the past few years it’s become almost an article of faith that civil society—including philanthropy and the not-for-profit sector it supports—should operate on business principles, like rates-of-return, competition to weed out the weak, close supervision of the organizations you support, financial data as measures of success, and paying corporate salaries to the CEO.
Back where I come from there are men who do nothing all day but good deeds. They are called phil . . . er . . . phil . . . er . . . er . . . good-deed-doers, and their hearts are no bigger than yours. But they have one thing you haven't got! A testimonial! Therefore, in consideration of your kindness, I take pleasure at this
time in presenting you with a small token of our esteem and affection. And remember, my sentimental friend, that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.
Over the past year, the Obama Administration has ushered into the American political dynamic a number of changes in how government, at least at the federal level, does business. Some changes reflect shifts in government’s relationship to the nonprofit sector, a few trends meriting special attention:
Thanks to the Wall Street Journal, we learned of the planned construction of the modestly named Utopia, a 971-foot cruise ship that will follow an itinerary of "international cultural and sporting events" such as the Monaco Grand Prix (that's a car race, btw) and the Dubai World Cup (that's a horserace).
Today, I’m wandering over to the Dark Side.
Anxiety and technology are a potent mix. They will enable great things—from allowing consumers to make more-informed decisions to giving citizens the tools to hold their elected leaders more accountable. The same mix can produce explosive harm. In fact, for every pro-social application of the new technologies there are a like number of anti-social ones.
It is a pleasure and honor to join the conversation on this new blog. Some days I’m not sure I consider myself an “intrepid philanthropist,” but every day I consider myself a fan of Ed Skloot, the creator of this blog.
Ed encouraged me to use this space to elaborate on a theme that I’ve been writing about lately: the inevitability of transparency.
We've just posted a draft of a paper, titled "Disrupting Philanthropy: Technology and the Future of the Social Sector," written by Lucy Bernholz along with CSPCS director Edward Skloot and yours truly. Download it, read it, and go over to Lucy's blog, Philanthropy 2173, and tell us what you think about it. You can also follow the Twitter conversation by using hashtag #DisruptPhil.