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Are Woke Foundations Killing Real Philanthropy with Big Donations?

Culture Civil Society

Progressive philanthropies are driving a wedge between nonprofits and the folks who want to support them.

The bottom is falling out.” That was what Woodrow Rosenbaum, chief data officer for GivingTuesday, told the Chronicle of Philanthropy recently. Rosenbaum, who is one of the authors of a new report showing that the number of small donors to nonprofits is on a steep and steady decline, says, “That’s an indicator as a sector that we’re not ready for a recession.”

Nonprofits have been sounding the alarm for a while now. Indeed, this is the fifth straight quarter of decline in the number of individuals giving to charity. Generally speaking, charitable giving is correlated with GDP. But this decline started before our current economic troubles. And, with record-high inflation, it will weigh even more heavily on the nonprofit sector.

The GivingTuesday report found that, compared with the first half of 2021, the number of people making charitable contributions of $100 or less dropped by more than 17 percent, and the number donating between $101 and $500 fell 8 percent. Why are small donations in particular falling? One reason could be that nonprofits are spending their resources courting large donors. In principle, this shouldn’t be a problem. An organization’s work could appeal to those able either to give a few dollars or a few million. But it is also possible that nonprofits’ messaging has changed.

Continue reading the entire piece at National Review (paywall)


James Piereson is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Naomi Schaefer Riley is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.

This piece originally appeared in National Review Online