Philanthropy, You Should Be Ashamed of Your Greed

Every single one of you on this list who is not giving in the double digits as a percentage of your wealth: you should be ashamed.

If everyone on this list gave at 10% or more of their net worth, what a different world we would be living in. If they gave at 20% of their net worth, we might begin to approach a more just society racially and gender-wise. (Image credit: Chronicle of Philanthropy)

I don’t like to use the shame card. I don’t use it much as a parent, and I don’t use it much as a therapist. But when I look at these numbers, all I can think of is how little regard these human beings appear to have for their fellow human beings. And yet they appear to have no shame about it. In fact, they receive a near constant stream of praise and adulation for the teeny tiny bit that they give of their vast wealth.

While people are dying in record numbers from a disease that we now have the means to prevent, these folks are sitting on their hands on their toxic waste dumps of money. Think about that while you toil away at your poorly paying middle-class job with little or no financial security, wondering when you’ll be fortunate enough to get the vaccine.

Later today we will be publishing an interview with LaTosha Brown. As you might imagine, after having the opportunity to speak with her, I am seriously fired up about inequality and ready to get much more serious about pushing philanthropy in the right direction. Those of us not in the 1% have settled far too easily into a dysfunctional pattern of accepting the growing inequality and allowing and even praising the behavior of those who dominate us financially.

If you’re like me, you’re going to love LaTosha’s interview. Stay tuned.


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Author: Kiersten Marek

Kiersten Marek, LICSW, is the founder of Philanthropy Women. She practices clinical social work and writes about how women donors and their allies are advancing social change.

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