This issue presents views on philanthropy on the broad scale and on scales diminishing in scope, though not in importance, down to the details of how individual charities may join forces with others for mutual benefit.
Mark Hughes returns to our pages with an essay berating government for misspending its money on benefits best left to private philanthropy. Such misallocation of funds is inevitable in a democratic system, says Hughes, so for better and more efficient spending, society should look to the charitable sector if its aim is to serve the poor. His opinion runs counter to the popular belief that reliance on government for the basics is inevitable.
Professor Evert Lindquist has also looked at the big picture. From a workshop on how to save the country, he has excerpted some guidelines that may remind the third sector of the standards it should be meeting to reflect, and therefore serve, the changing community in which it operates.
The theme of change is picked up by Benson Wilson, who ponders the evolution of relations between foundations and those seeking grants. The style, the substance, and even the personnel are not what they were, he says, and the effective donor and recipient must come to terms with the new ways.
Coming to terms with the new world is also the theme of Donald Lamont, who outlines the benefits of collaboration rather than competition with one’s fellow charities. He shows how one can start small in this process, if it does not feel like a natural one, but also how broadly one may profit from sharing strengths.
Irene Matthews gives another example of collaboration-that between business and the universities. The banking centres she describes produce benefits for both donor and recipient, and therefore function to the benefit of the public as well as the private sector. Perhaps this kind of collaboration as well as Don Lamont’s will be the way of the future.
Those who agree and those who doubt are all invited to add their voices to the discussion. We have many issues to fill before the future arrives.
John D. Gregory
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