It’s not so unique. Nor are small, local, hometown ones like it built by national government as easily as the large-scale interstate-highway system.
The arrogance of assuming all people automatically agree with “taking action” on a progressive agenda.
Once giving, volunteering, and self-help are seen by the public for what they have always been to the philanthropic professionals—mere myths that complicate the work of the credentialed experts—what will happen to the legitimacy of those professionals?
The approaches of some grassroots activists and conservative philanthropies are much closer to each other than those flowing from progressivism—which shift power away from the local grassroots to distant intellectual elites, who consider grassroots efforts mere “Band-Aids.”
By suggesting that our vast network of social services isn’t adequate to the task of meeting human needs, the everyday charitable acts of Americans “threaten” to carve out islands of independent civic initiative, free from the heavy-handed guidance and arrogant expertise of philanthropic reformers.
Progressive critiques of private philanthropy ignore prior public experience with government spending.
As establishment philanthropy defends its position in American society, it would do well to tend to more than just one flank.
And another option for grantmakers to at least consider.
In wake of USC Center on Philanthropy & Public Policy’s must-read report, third of three-part series offers different take on applying theory, facing reality, and learning lessons for future giving.
In wake of USC Center on Philanthropy & Public Policy’s must-read report, second of three-part series tracks depressingly increasing evidence of failure.