Darren Walker’s NY Times op-ed: From generosity to justice

In this op-ed, Darren considers the origins of modern philanthropy and how we can rethink the traditional “gospel of giving”—and indeed, why we must. A new gospel, he writes, “might begin where the previous 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.”

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.

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