Editorial: Know where your gifts go
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1997:
The Philanthropy 400, an annual ranking by income of the biggest U.S. charities,
published by The Chronicle of Philanthrophy, is the nonprofit equivalent of the Fortune
500 index of for-profit corporations. The organizations appearing on either list are those
most likely to be respected as movers and shakers by the rest. Fortune 500 firms are both
most often solicited for donations, and most frequently hit by boycott, especially boycotts
called by relatively small activist groups whose leaders hope that choosing a high-profile
target will enhance their own prestige, as well as that of their cause.
Conversely, Philanthropy 400 charities are most likely to receive corporate
largess when for-profit companies seek to promote themselves––and avert or undercut boycotts––through association with prominent philanthropic projects.
Thus the rich get richer, and overworked underbudgeted grassroots groups struggle
just to survive, even as they build the moral impetus, provide the volunteers, and do
most of the outreach that expands donor support.