New Faces of Charity

December 12, 1986

Report Outline
A More Commercial Image
Who Gives to Charity?
Government's Changing Role
Special Focus

A More Commercial Image

The image is a staple of the Christmas season: A worker for the Salvation Army stands outside a busy store, ringing a hell and asking shoppers to fulfill the giving spirit of the holiday by dropping a few coins in the pot. For decades, non-profit organizations providing aid to the poor, education and the arts relied on this country's strong tradition of altruism. Americans are among the most generous people in the world, giving $79.8 billion to philanthropic causes in 1985. Aided by growing support from the federal government, charities—like the bell ringer—were able to raise money simply by asking people.

Today, however, charity faces a new reality. The old-fashioned approaches to raising money are being replaced by sophisticated new methods that make charities much more like for-profit businesses. A rock star—his face beamed by satellite to millions of people around the world—intersperses music with pleas to help starving children in Africa. A country singer stages a concert to help farmers. A college markets a word-processing program for computers that brings in millions of dollars, while a community mental-health group raises its fees for counseling. A worthy cause lends its image and reputation to a private company, helping it sell beer or credit cards in return for a share of the profits.

Federal budget policies are at the root of this profound change in the way charities get their money. Government support

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Aug. 03, 2007  Corporate Social Responsibility
Dec. 08, 2006  Philanthropy in America
Jan. 22, 1999  Role of Foundations
Feb. 27, 1998  The New Corporate Philanthropy
Nov. 12, 1993  Charitable Giving
Dec. 23, 1988  Philanthropy: the Season for Giving
Dec. 12, 1986  New Faces of Charity
Dec. 03, 1982  The Charity Squeeze
Jan. 11, 1974  American Philanthropy
Mar. 05, 1969  Voluntary Action: People and Programs
Mar. 20, 1963  Tax-Exempt Foundations: Privileges and Policies
Oct. 12, 1955  Joint Fund Raising
Sep. 11, 1953  Charity Appeals
Jan. 05, 1949  Tax Exempt Foundations
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Popular Culture
Tax Reform