In the midst of a thoughtful discussion at the Wagner Center of the competing demands on philanthropies for funding of overtaxed social services and of social-change advocacy, big news: the White House is about to announce creation of the long-proposed Office of Social Innovation to bring together government responses and resources to the concerns of the philanthropic and charitable sectors.

Bureaucratic-style confirmation: the office appears on the list at whitehouse.govSpeculation about possible leadership has begun.

imageKelly Kleiman, who blogs as The Nonprofiteer, is a lawyer and freelance journalist whose reportage and essays about the arts, philanthropy and women’s issues have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor and other dailies; in magazines including In These Times and Chicago Philanthropy; and on websites including and