The Challenge of Toxic Charity
Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
Presenter: Denise Spencer, President and CEO of The Community Foundation of the Low Country
• Summarized Robert Lupton’s book Toxic Charity: How Churches and Chari5es Hurt Those They Help (and How to Reverse It).
• Described some of her experiences and observations as a career executive and a volunteer in the non- proﬁt world.
• Fielded questions and challenges from the audience about how to help the poor instead of damaging them.
“With what I have considered a life8me of compassionate service, ...I found myself wincing as if Robert Lupton ... had smacked me upside the head” by assertions in the book, she said. As a 40-year veteran of charitable giving and serving, Lupton forces readers to confront some of his reluctant conclusions:
• Society has tried unsuccessfully to reduce poverty.
Neil Funnell moderated the discussion. Out of it came many thoughts:
Government programs for the poor continue to be essential, but they need to be run better, need to show “horizons” to avoid dependency.
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