The Nonprofit Sector
By Arnold Kling
The Independent Sector, which is basically the industry group for nonprofits, reports that the combined annual expenditures of
all the not-for-profit organizations required to file Form 990 with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service had grown to nearly $1 trillion in 2004. (That’s about half what the federal government spends each year, not counting defense.)
I think this is good news. Alexander’s article includes some complaints about the left-wing bias of the non-profit sector. I think that this bias may shift, however. For one thing, present-day conservative philanthropists can see what has happened to Ford and Pew, and they can choose to take steps to prevent that from happening to their money.
But I think that even people on the left may come to understand that when the choice is
(a) give money to organizations that try to solve problems; or
(b) give money to political causes and politicians that try to take money from other people, supposedly to solve problems
it might be better to choose (a). I know that’s a really difficult concept to get your mind around, but I’m optimistic that more people may be able to manage it in the decades ahead.