“The culture of overweening politeness in American philanthropy is leading to our ruin,” maintains Albert Ruesga, president of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “It keeps me from telling you, in the clearest possible terms, that your five-year, $2-million initiative to end homelessness is well-intentioned magical thinking at best and boneheaded ignorance at worst.”
“It’s hard to be a critic in this sector,” according to philanthropy consultant Cynthia Gibson. “We’ve been too nice to each other for too long,” adds Vignetta Charles of AIDS United.
Chronicle of Philanthropy reporter Caroline Preston elicited these reactions for her recent article posing the question, ‘Is Philanthropy Killing Itself with Kindness?’
We continued the conversation these four began with our panel discussion on March 25, which took its bearing from Preston’s article.
Caroline Preston, Some Nonprofit Leaders Ask: Is Philanthropy Killing Itself With Kindness? Chronicle of Philanthropy, February 24, 2013.