With Charity for All Book Summary - With Charity for All Book explained in key points

With Charity for All summary

Ken Stern

Why Charities Are Failing and a Better Way to Give

4.3 (13 ratings)
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    With Charity for All
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    The growth and popularity of charities in the United States is a relatively recent phenomenon.

    To the average American, surrounded by messaging from nonprofit organizations, it comes as no surprise that charities both constitute a significant portion of US economy and have a large presence in education and health care systems. In fact, today’s charities are so successful that their combined annual revenues have reached about $1.5 trillion.

    But the nonprofit sector didn’t always have this kind of power. As you’ll see, the rise of nonprofits is a fairly recent development in US history.

    Charities emerged in the United States during the second half of the nineteenth century, becoming the phenomenon they are now only after World War II.

    One reason for their sudden and immense growth was the introduction of financial incentives in the 1950s, in the form of tax write-offs. As a consequence, thousands of charities were founded in the years that followed, rising from 12,000 in 1940 to 367,000 in 1967.

    Some of these new charities were created by rich families as a means to pass on their wealth to posterity without paying estate tax.

    This explosion was further fueled by the government policies of the 1960s and 1970s. This period saw the creation of numerous government-funded nonprofits, such as Medicare, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

    But it’s not simply the existence of charities that is relatively new, but also the public support they enjoy.

    Traditionally, until the end of the nineteenth century, Americans were quite skeptical of charitable organizations. For instance, in the early years of the American Republic, some states, such as Virginia, made it discouragingly difficult for institutions like universities to operate on private donations or benefit from tax exemptions.

    However, the Great Depression and World War II changed all that: the expansion of the welfare state in the aftermath of the Depression and the economic advantages of establishing charitable organizations made the concept of nonprofit initiatives more popular.

    But isn’t this growth in charity a good thing? As you’ll see in the following blink, charities aren’t always as good as we imagine them to be.

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    Key ideas in With Charity for All

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    What is With Charity for All about?

    With Charity for All offers an in-depth view of the inner workings of a sector which dominates ten percent of the US economy and employs 13 million people: the nonprofit industry. Subject to few controls, some huge nonprofit organizations are all too often afflicted with incompetence or even fraud.

    Best quote from With Charity for All

    In this results-obsessed country, the public rarely demand measures of how effective charities are.

    —Ken Stern
    example alt text

    Who should read With Charity for All?

    • Anyone who regularly donates to charities or wishes to donate
    • Anyone interested in working in the nonprofit sector
    • Anyone who wants to know how to make a difference in society

    About the Author

    Ken Stern is the president of Palisades Media Ventures as well as the former CEO of the nationally acclaimed National Public Radio, which he helped develop into a trusted global information powerhouse.

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