No, King Arthur hasn’t been reborn nor are we in Camelot. Heck, we’re not even in Kansas. What this is, though, is a serious attempt by the Israel Government and a number of foundations that operate in Israel to increase the cooperation, strength, and transparency of Israel’s nonprofit sector.
For years we have been witnessing charitable institutions hiring business executives in order to increase fundraising or professionalize the organization. I remember the big news when the President of Columbia University, George Rupp, accepted the presidency of the International Relief Committee in 2002. Some of us alumni were bewildered by the move — leaving the private sector for the public sector, unheard of!?!? However, what seemed like an isolated incident then, was actually indicative of many nonprofit organizations.
But is the reverse true? Are the corporate and public sectors luring away nonprofit executives in the hope of improving their social standing and/or activities?
Last week (July 23) in New Jersey, an undercover police operation revealed a rainbow of criminal dealings. The implications of the scandal vis-à-vis charities are too vast and far-reaching to be dealt with in one post. Over the next day or two I will address the pertinent issues. Questions and comments are welcome.
America has a long history of positive social change affected through the initiatives of private individuals and foundations. These nongovernmental institutions have been succesful because of their greatest weapon, independence. An article that was recently forwarded to me in The Commentary Magazine entitled, “The War on Philanthropy”, by David Billet, argues that this autonomy is under fire.