A Shocking Revelation

For the past several years I have been blogging about the challenges facing the charitable sector, in large part, because of the way that it has been structured, and continues to be managed.  The expectation that the CRA or the IRS has any role or responsibility in managing the way that the sector operates is not only foolish, but unrealistic.  Below is a blog post originally written by Nadine Riopel,The Savvy Do Gooder on just how the sector is broken. I will post part two in the coming days. 

Reprinted with permission from the Savvy Do Gooder, Nadine Ripoel

Guest blogger bio - Nadine Riopel. A lifetime of searching for the best way to make the world a better place has led me to the conclusion that my best path to do that is helping others do the same, which is why I am now the author, organizer, and speaker known as The Savvy Do Gooder.

On the way here, I; studied international development and business administration as a university student; had misadventures as a serial volunteer; coordinated workplace giving and fielded solicitations as a corporate executive assistant; and spent several years as a professional charitable fundraiser.

I can’t ignore it any more. As controversial and unpopular as it might turn out to be, there’s something I have to face.

It’s an idea, a gut feeling I’ve been dancing around for a long time. It flies in the face of most of the current thinking about charity. People might be offended.

But the more I work in this space, meet people who are trying to make a difference, and hear from brilliant thinkers like Slavoj Zizek, the more I have to face up to it:

The charitable sector in its current form might be a bad idea. It’s very possible that most of us would be better off not participating in it at all.

I do think there’s a role for charity. I just don’t think it’s the one it’s trying to play right now.

My suspicion is that charity is too small, weak, and restricted to do the job it’s expected to do, namely: fix all the problems of the world.

Meanwhile, it may be far too big, loud, and pervasive to do the job it’s actually meant to do, which is act as a safety net for people who fall through the cracks; addressing immediate (and preferably short term) needs.

This is just the tip of the iceberg on this subject. Although I’ve managed to finally look it in the face, I’m nowhere near sure about it. I’m setting out on a journey to research and explore it. I have a lot of work to do.


Will you come with me? I think we’ll all get a lot out of it.