Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote: "Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary."
You have likely heard this quote, but have you thought about it in its original context? Check out this thoughtful post from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. Here's an excerpt:
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others. In dangerous valleys and hazardous pathways, he will lift some bruised and beaten brother to a higher and more noble life." (King, Strength to Love, 1963)
Replace the word “man” in Dr. King’s writing above with the word “philanthropist” and read it again. For us, this is what it really comes down to: how does philanthropy measure up during these challenging times? Are we good philanthropic neighbors? Are grantmakers truly willing to take risks to help a brother or sister in need? Is philanthropy more than merely commendable?
What do you think? Weigh in by leaving a comment.
Finally, consider taking a moment (17 minutes 28 seconds to be exact) to watch the full "I Have a Dream" speech.