Wednesday, October 5, 2011

End of Change Charity

After almost two years, this will be the final post on Change Charity. As of tomorrow morning, I am launching my next venture, UnSectored, a group blog of individuals in the National Capital Region working beyond sectors and between sectors for social change. I'll be the editor, as well as a contributor. Check it out, follow myself and the other bloggers there, and let us know what you think.

Thanks to all of you who have followed my writings here. I appreciate your feedback and your dialogue, and I hope that can continue over on UnSectored. There are many reasons I decided to start something new, but primarily I think my thoughts on social change grew out of a charity/nonprofit mindset, and I needed to open up my writings to encompass more possibilities. Social change is no longer owned by nonprofits, nor should it be. UnSectored will explore the ins and outs of these new ways of creating social change.

Again, thanks to all of you who have read these words over the almost two years, and I hope I will not disappoint over on UnSectored. Check it out and let me know if I do.


  1. I was searching for articles about charities and came across your blog- I'm curious what you think about the following argument:

    People donate so much money to 501(c)3s and it seems ineffective for the most part compared to spending it on changing gov't policies. If the millions of people who gave money to 501(c)3 non-profits gave instead to groups like Sierra Club or ACLU, they would have the clout of the NRA and really change gov't policy to fix problems at their root.

    Or say a billionaire wants to help the uninsured- he could donate $500m to non-profit hospitals so they provide medical care and it'd be gone in a flash (every uninsured would get $10 each). Or, he could spend that $500m to shift our govt to universal health care like Japan or Switzerland- everyone gets quality health care, health care spending gets under control- way more effective way to give. Same goes for education, crime, nutrition- it's much more effective to fix problems at their root than just alleviate the effects of them.

    As Ralph Nader says, "A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity". Do you think it'd be more efficient to spend our money and energy to secure more justice by engaging the political process than alleviating problems via 501(c)3 non-profits that can't do get take political stances?

  2. I'm not sure this is an either/or question. Nonprofit service providers have their place and are needed, as are advocacy organizations. Additionally, many nonprofit service providers based in communities do a lot of advocacy work on behalf of the clients they serve.

    I think government advocacy is quite powerful, but so if providing services for those who need it. I don't think of these services as "charity," but more of organizations filling in gaps where the market has failed individuals.

    This question and others similar to it are being discussed over on Check it out!!