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Bill Shore
Non-profit leader

Bill Shore

Bill Shore is founder and executive director of Share Our Strength, the nation’s leading organization working to end childhood hunger in America.

A New Generation

[In response to the question: Where are the next political giants?]

The post-Vietnam, post-Watergate era did see a shift in talent from traditional politics to other fields also dedicated to social change, especially to what has become known as "social entrepreneurship."

Leaders like Wendy Kopp who founded Teach For America, Geoffrey Canada who leads the Harlem Children's Zone, Alan Khazei, co-founder of City Year, and J.B. Schramm of College Summit are just a few examples of visionary and committed activists who might have worked in and through government in the 1960's, but having come of age in the '80's and '90's instead chose to invent and build a new set of social institutions.

As their nonprofit institutions have matured, each has seen the need for public and government support to bring their innovations to scale, so I wouldn't count them out of politics for long, or assume that they won't become the next generation of political giants. They may just arrive their via non-traditional ways.

By Bill Shore

 |  September 1, 2009; 8:00 AM ET
Category:  Politics Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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"Since Reagan the gov. has cut spending?" Are you kidding?....

Posted by: yokosuka1985 | September 2, 2009 5:19 PM
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The reason that they beg the government for money is that since the Reagan era, government has cut spending and programs markedly. These organizations are filling in the gaps. It's really the utmost vision of a conservative America - let the non profit market work. It's really no different than government downsizing and outsourcing other services - like hiring Blackwater instead of spending the money on our own military. Why is that ok and this isn't?

And, if you're against social entrepreneurship, what do you propose?

Posted by: waterwarior84 | September 2, 2009 4:32 PM
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"young leaders"..also known as spoiled, pampered rich kids who think the world revolves around them.

Posted by: rabbitman | September 2, 2009 2:45 PM
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Instead of setting up coping programs, DO SOMETHING to prevent the pedophilia, abuse, neglect, carelessness, and chance that builds a foundation for failure, poverty and crime in the back corners of our society.

Posted by: IIntgrty | September 2, 2009 1:31 PM
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I certainly hope they aren't the next generation of politicians. The bunch we have is bad enough.

Posted by: WingsofCrystal | September 2, 2009 1:22 PM
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Behind every "social entrepeneur" is your tax payment subsidzing their organization and their salry and benefits. Just like wind, wave and solar power, the social entrepeneurs exist solely because the tax code props them up and their patrons in government give them grants to survive and thrive. There are better alternatives for society and your money.

Posted by: pioneer1 | September 2, 2009 12:49 PM
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Ah, the "social change" and "social entrepreneurship" groups. They are forever begging the government for money.

"As their nonprofit institutions have matured, each has seen the need for public and government support to bring their innovations to scale,..."

ACORN comes to mind. From their website:
"ACORN is a non-profit, non-partisan social justice organization..."

Posted by: spamsux1 | September 2, 2009 12:46 PM
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While it depends on the organization, non-profits in general do more work with less money. I've worked for one and let me tell you the hours are long, the work is hard, and the pay is not as much as you would get if you had a sinecure your dad landed you in some big company through his connections, but you feel like you've contributed something to the world.
Plus NGOs receive more scrutiny than government organizations do, because the people funding them want to know exactly where their money is going. And a lot of NGOs only get a small portion of their funding from government sources, if any at all, and there is usually stiff competition amongst several different NGOs for limited available money. So no one is giving NGOs handouts. Far from it. In fact since there's such stiff competition for funding, market forces will determine which NGOs survive and which ones don't.
If you think about it, sicne they are non-governmental by definition, they replace government-run programs, and people have a greater choice as to which causes to support with their extra income, because they choose to support a particular NGO. Remember faith-based intitiatives? It was a Bush initiative and basically follows the same principle.
Funny how a lot of Republicans contradict themselves frequently and make asses of themselves while they do it.
And there will always be people willing to make a buck off their fellow man, so don't worry; our current neo-liberal capitalist economy won't be affected with a slight uptick in the number of NGOs.

Posted by: sasmontagova | September 2, 2009 11:53 AM
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Thank you Bill Shore, this is a very interesting perspective. These are folks who worked hard for little to no pay over many years and assumed all the risk for their initiatives. They have now proven successful and their ideas should be brought to scale as you say. I admire their level of tireless passion for improving the lives of others.

Posted by: herewegoagain3 | September 2, 2009 11:52 AM
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The real question is why the U.S. is becoming a nation of 'Non-Profit' organizations? Answer, the tax code, and of course the terms sounds 'nice,' very important when sticking one's hand out for money from indviduals or the government.

If America becomes a non-profit, charitable country, where many make there living in the sector, yet no longer is much of value produced, how does this bode for the future in terms of a vibrant economy, and indeed ability to actually help those in need?

The problem is the tax code, government has grown too large and powerful, monied special interests control the government, no one wants to do real work.

My two cents!

Posted by: JuicyJuice | September 2, 2009 11:35 AM
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Hey, while we're at it, let's ditch the military completely and let every American citizen defend him or herself from enemies foreing and domestic. Why should I have to defend other people I don't even know and may not even like with my money? And why do we need to let Washington tell us how to defend ourselves and from whom? Do you really trust the intelligence coming out of Washington?

That's why I'll never join the military. I have no desire to defend people I don't agree with, and there are plenty of people in this country I don't like or agree with.

But anyway, an the topic about social entrepreneurs - I'd trust them any day over politicians because the politicians in this country have become complete stooges of sceial interests and are more interested in scoring political points than getting anything done. Once they get into politics they all become corrupted.

Oh and why not get rid of salaries for peopel working in government while we're at it? They're the employees of the people (you and me). Why should they get a good salary and excellent healthcare for expelling hot air, grandstanding, and in general not accomplishing much at all?

Who else is with me?

Posted by: sasmontagova | September 2, 2009 11:12 AM
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It's disappointing, but not surprising, that the Post celebrates people whose income and services are on the taxpayers' backs. Govt. has grown too large, and there is no end in sight. This bunch is just more of the same.

Posted by: mclovin | September 2, 2009 7:49 AM
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