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Will Philanthropy Help End Poverty?

I grew up a poor black girl in a Washington, D.C., ghetto. It was the tumultuous time of the civil rights movement. Disheartened by the injustices of the day, I found hope in the message of a bumper sticker. It read: “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” It dawned on me that I didn’t have to be a victim of my circumstances. I could be a solution and change things. Poor meant only that I had less wealth, not less worth. That simple message helped me realize I have value!

I’ve spent much of my life since serving organizations fighting poverty across America and struggling to be valued as a black woman able to contribute. I wish I could say that I see philanthropy bringing an end to poverty. But, despite trillions of dollars donated since the ’60s, poverty remains in full force. 


Funding Anti-Poverty Programs

“Poverty is the worst form of violence.”
—Mahatma Gandhi

No matter how you slice and dice the topic, we all know that poverty is a huge issue throughout North America. I spend a good part of each year in Mexico and further south—in Chile—and have lived in Alaska for 40 years. I know how poverty has infiltrated Native villages throughout that state and Canada. And living in the New York Harlem neighborhood for part of each year, I see the “city side’ of poverty on a daily basis. That multiple perspective moved me to write this post as well as develop a new webinar focused on how to fund anti-poverty programs in North America.


Not Just a Question of Trust: Can Philanthropists Get Better Results by Doing Less?

The following article is cross-posted with permission from Alliance magazine blog. Based out of the UK, Alliance magazine is the leading global magazine on philanthropy and social investment. 

Andrew Carneige’s 1889 essay “The Gospel of Wealth,” has done much to inspire modern philanthropists who want to ensure that their wealth contributes to making the world a better place. He was an early advocate of “effective philanthropy,” arguing that:


Poverty—and Resilience—Amidst Amazing Resources


 


Garbed in Poverty

 


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