Peers Suggest

Curated by our guest blogger:

Fears and Hopes for Philanthropy by Brad Smith, President of the Foundation Center Brad outlines three hopes and three fears to guide our decisions and face the challenge of this economic moment. He fears that we may shy away from addressing inequality, injustice, and discrimination -- and that we may endanger the field if we act without transparency and accountability. Brad also shares his hopes, including creative options and new partnerships. He believes this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for philanthropy to reinvent itself.

The Foundation's Role in Troubling Times by Lew Feldstein, President of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Lew makes a call to resist the temptation to fund ongoing direct service. While he acknowledges the “hugely compelling and emotionally satisfying” nature of supporting direct service, he reminds us that we do not have the “firepower to meet the overwhelming needs emerging in this recession.” Instead of taking on government’s role of underwriting basic services, Lew suggests a higher standard: “to test and implement better ways to deliver services, improve systems, experiment, innovate and strengthen the entire array of agencies.”

Foundation Embraces Social Justice by Gara LaMarche, President of Atlantic Philanthropies Gara suggests we look closely at the root causes of inequity and focus not only on who is disadvantaged and what their needs are, but on why they are disadvantaged. Gara challenges us with concrete questions to make the best decisions possible for this economic moment. Read this speech for both ideas and inspiration: “it is always worth articulating our highest aspiration … to sketch the world we want to live in, because our work must always, in a sense begin at the end.”

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