The New Nonprofit Paradigm: Fusing Compassion with Capitalism – Ventureneer
His for-profit company, Pallotta Team Works, invented two high-profile events: the AIDSRides and Breast Cancer 3-Days, raising over a half billion dollars and netting $305 million in eight years. Pallotta doesn’t come close to suggesting ways to improve performance within the existing nonprofit paradigm. Rather, he argues that the paradigm itself is the problem, and calls into question our fundamental canons about charity. His thesis: society’s nonprofit ethic undermines our ability to eradicate great problems and puts charities at a severe disadvantage to the for-profit sector at every level. Compensation: We allow the for-profit sector to pay people millions, but don’t want anyone paid a high salary in charity.
That means charities can’t set aside funds to develop long-term solutions. Learning: We aren’t upset when Paramount makes a $200 million movie that fails, but if a charity experiments with a bold new fundraising initiative that disappoints, we want heads to roll. So charities are petrified – too scared to try any new endeavors and unable to benefit from the valuable learning curve that comes with exploration and innovation. Capital: We let for-profit companies raise massive capital in the stock market by offering investment returns, but we forbid the payment of a financial return to charity. The for-profit sector monopolizes the capital markets while charities are left to beg for donations.
Another critical area where charities must compete is in the acquisition and retention of dynamic, dedicated leadership. As long as Americans see charity as a field in which people must suffer in the name of doing good, says Pallotta, we are preventing much good from being done.
How to end crony capitalism
The quicker Republicans get this done, and without hearings, the less likely will the rest of the country discover how much it will cost in foregone Medicaid and Medicare or ballooning budget deficits. Donald Trump has been trashing democratic institutions – the independence of the press, judges who disagree with him, uncooperative legislators – while raking in money off his presidency. Don’t lose sight of the larger attack on our democracy that was underway even before Trump was elected: A flood of big money into politics. Lest you conclude it’s only Republicans who have been pocketing big bucks in exchange for political favors, consider what Big Tech – the industry that’s mostly bankrolled Democrats – is up to. Never underestimate the power of big money, whichever side of the aisle it’s aimed at.
Big money is buying giant tax cuts, allowing Russia to interfere in future elections, and killing Americans. Republicans may be taking more big money, but both parties have been raking it in. A number of Trump voters told me they voted for him because they wanted someone who’d shake up Washington, drain the swamp, and get rid of crony capitalism. They’re decent folks who just want a government that’s not of, by, and for the moneyed interests. The big money that’s taken over American politics in recent years has created the biggest political backlash in postwar American history – inside both parties.
It’s splitting the Republican Party between its large corporate patrons and a base that detests big corporations and Wall Street. When it comes to getting big money out of politics and ending crony capitalism, there’s no right or left, and certainly no middle.
The American Conservative
Despite his myriad failings as a president, Bush had a human decency, and an inspiring vision of America, that is painfully lacking in our politics today. Maybe it’s just that I grew up with Bush-he was president from the time I was 8 to the time I was 16-but there’s something comforting and almost endearing about our 43rd president’s political style. There is a hardness in our discourse today, in politics and in culture, that did not exist 16 years ago, or even eight. Perhaps Hillary Clinton retained some of this folksy style, but style it was; her policies were bland technocracy mixed with social liberalism, a mix that gratified elites but did not particularly resonate with the American people. To speak on its convention stage can no longer claim to be the party of the average American.
Despite all of this, there is a window for healing and uniting the country-in Trumpism’s core ideas. Stripped of Trump’s brand of aggressive demagoguery, these ideas might even be largely uncontroversial. Far from somehow being at odds, the aspirational, folksy style of George W. Bush and the core ideas of Trumpism go hand in hand: while America should not be encased in amber, its longstanding, praiseworthy traditions and ways of life should not be sledgehammered merely to make way for globalized creative destruction. The core challenge for conservatives now is to implement the best of Trump’s ideas while disavowing the worst of his political style.
Bush doesn’t hold a copyright on that turn of phrase. What American politics needs is compassionate Trumpism. Addison Del Mastro is an editorial assistant at The American Conservative.