Every year tens of millions of Americans sacrifice their personal time and resources to participate in civil society in some way. Why do they do it? The answers are varied and intertwined, but it might boil down to this: Civic-mindedness starts early, runs deep, and aims higher.
Like all of civil society, the American nonprofit sector is a living thing. Its recent evolution has created a large and diverse force for good, but faces distinct challenges ranging from identity to sustainability.
Driven by a confluence of powerful secular trends, Americans’ trust in civil society has declined to alarming levels. Without addressing these trends and reversing the loss of trust, the ideal of private action for the public good could be at risk.
Funders and advocates must come together to build movements that can run successful and successive campaigns that result in good policy and grassroots power.
The for-profit LLC is poised to become the preferred vehicle for the nation’s elite philanthropists. Will the public gain from added investment in social good, or lose from ceding even more power to the wealthy?