Published in the New York Times | December 17, 2015
Why Giving Back Isn't Enough
By Darren Walker
During this season of giving, I will join millions of Americans in volunteering to feed the homeless, contributing to clothing drives and donating to poverty-fighting charities. Yet I worry that through these acts of kindness, I absolve myself of asking deeper questions about injustice and inequality. We Americans are a remarkably bighearted people, but I believe the purpose of our philanthropy must not only be generosity, but justice.
The world may need a reimagined charter of philanthropy — a “Gospel of Wealth” for the 21st century — that serves not just American philanthropists, but the vast array of new donors emerging around the world.
This new gospel might begin where the previous one fell short: addressing the underlying causes that perpetuate human suffering. In other words, philanthropy can no longer grapple simply with what is happening in the world, but also with how and why.