I Have a Quick Question for You

NOTE: The poll has closed. Because 75 percent of respondents want me to share my thoughts about the election’s impact on philanthropy, I will do so in the coming days. While the poll is now closed, you can still leave a comment below.


Much is being written about the potential impact of the election results on philanthropy. Much of what has been written already has been partisan and/or emotional and/or negative. So far, I have refrained from adding my voice. I’ve figured there’s already a lot being said out there, and that you might be tired of the subject already. Or, you just generally might be tired of hearing about the election itself.

However, some people have asked me my thoughts about the future of philanthropy.

Now, I’m going to leave it up to you. Please respond to the anonymous poll question below. If 75 percent of my readers want me to address the subject, I will. Otherwise, I’ll move on and write about other important issues. By the way, this is a flash poll that will end this Sunday night.

Thank you for your guidance!

If you have any particular questions you’d like me to address, please comment below or contact me privately.

That’s what Michael Rosen says… What do you say?

4 Comments to “I Have a Quick Question for You”

  1. In the long term, I don’t think there will be any impact unless the core of why giving remains stuck at 2% of GDP is addressed.

    Personally, I believe this December will be the highest ever as the value of the 39.6% tax deduction is a known commodity and with lower tax rates a possibility on the horizon, donors will be motivated to get the biggest bang for their buck.

    Unfortunately (or fortunately), this will lead to an ever increasing amount of money given to DAF’s, who will be more than happy to be stewards.

    • Jon, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I tend to be a bit optimistic about the future of philanthropy. The affect of the election on year-end fundraising will, in part, depend on the type of charity. The key for organizations is to keep on fundraising.

  2. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Personally, I’m bullish, because I believe in the free market of philanthropy that will thrive under a limited government–not in the misguided and destructive socialism I hear gushing from most consultants.

    • Sr. Mary Brigid. Thank you for taking the time to write to me. I apologize for the delay in my response.

      There is evidence that supports your opinion that philanthropy tends to thrive under limited government. For example, Marvin Olasky observed in his book The Tragedy of American Compassion, greater government involvement in and funding of the social services sector historically has led to a pullback of private support for such organizations.

      On the other hand, I know there are some economists who would argue that while private philanthropy will step-up in an attempt to offset government funding cutbacks to charities, it is unlikely to fully make up the difference.

      In our society, there seems to be a growing divide regarding the fundamental belief in the role of government v. the private sector. Those of the left believe that collective action through government is the way to solve the nation’s problems. Those on the right believe our country was founded on individual liberty and, therefore, people should get to keep their own money and distribute it as they see fit. Those on the right further believe that the private sector can deliver charity services far more efficiently than the government with better results. I would argue that the latter group is more in alignment with the founding principles of the United States of America.

      As far as the Trump Administration goes, it remains to be seen whether or not it will usher in an era of “limited government.” I’m not hopeful. Both Republicans and Democrats have long been united in one common objective: growing the government. While their approaches to government are a bit different, the common objective is amassing more power for the political class. Interestingly, Alexis de Tocqueville, the 19th century French historian and political writer, made a number of observations about America that are particularly relevant today including:

      “The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.”

      “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

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