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Is Philanthropy Killing Itself with Kindness?

“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.

Required Reading
Caroline Preston, Some Nonprofit Leaders Ask: Is Philanthropy Killing Itself With Kindness? Chronicle of Philanthropy, February 24, 2013.

Panel

Caroline Preston Panelist

Author, Senior Reporter at The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Albert Ruesga Panelist

President and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation

Vignetta Eugenia Charles Panelist

Vice President of AIDS United

Cynthia Gibson Panelist

Consultant for Nonprofits and Foundations

William Schambra Moderator

Senior Fellow; Director, Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal

Experts

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