Chuck Collins inherited a half million dollar trust fund from his parents and at 26, he decided to give it all away. Looking back now, he says he has no regrets because it allowed him to “unflinchingly look at the growing income and wealth inequalities that have opened up over the last 30 years.”
Today, Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive multi-issue think tank. His latest book is called Born on Third Base which is the term he uses to describe people like himself, who were born into lives of privilege. “Most people have to get into the batter’s box and take a couple of pitches and make their own way. I was born at the place where a lot of people work their entire lives to get to.”
In this podcast, Collins shares his ideas for ensuring that more Americans reach third base and we learn how the nation’s income divide may be corroding the nonprofit sector. Collins recently co-authored a report revealing that charitable giving from low and midrange donors has been declining over the past decade, while many nonprofits are increasingly relying on a relative handful of mega donors. Collins says this trend poses risks to the health and independence of the nonprofit sector and democracy itself. He shares his concerns about the rise of the mega donor, the limits of philanthropy to create social change, and explains why we ought to offer more support to the only institution that’s ever offered wide swaths of the population a shot at the American dream.
Chuck Collins, Helen Flannery and Josh Hoxie’s Gilded Giving Report
Collins’ book: Born on Third Base
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Chuck Collins & Helen Flannery: ‘Gilded Giving’ Carries Peril for Philanthropy, and Society
Income Inequality Statistics
NPR story: 2016 Philanthropy Trends: Americans Donate Record $373 Billion
Featured Image: Chuck Collins