Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I'm thinking................................

From Mark Perry's Carpe Diem blog:

"While businesses may do more for the public good than they’re given credit for, philanthropies may do less. Think about it for a moment: Can you point to a single charitable accomplishment that has been as transformative as, say, the cell phone or the birth-control pill?"

After thinking about it for about 15 seconds, I can point to two examples that might fit that bill.  First, Andrew Carnegie's public libraries.  Who knows what doors were opened, imaginations fired, opportunities created by the Carnegie libraries in communities across the country?  My guess is the impact made by this expansion of the availability of books was huge.  Second,  how about  Rotary's Polio Plus?  At its peak in the 1940's and 50's, polio was crippling and killing about 500,000 people world wide annually.  New vaccinations developed in the 1950's slowed the growth of the dread disease.  In 1985, The Rotary Foundation decided to try to eradicate the disease.  Since that time, Rotary, with some seriously large matching grants from the Gates Foundation, has raised in the vicinity of $200,000,000 and paid for the vaccination of more than two billion children.  Most of the world is polio free.  The eradication part hasn't been completed, but the team committed to the project is still working at it.   Wouldn't you agree that both of those charities qualify as "transformative"?

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