This piece from the Washington Monthly titled“Curbing Substance Misuse” is written by my friend, and former New Hampshire Charitable Foundation colleague, Tym Rourke. It's about the power of philanthropy. In my last post, I wrote about integrated capital and what I see as the limits of philanthropy. One of the places I noted philanthropy is effective is when it ensures that there are able people advocating for sane public policy.
There is a lot of misunderstanding among donors about funding policy and advocacy activities, and sadly it has meant fewer dollars flowing to these crucial, mission-related efforts. Charitable donors may contribute to nonprofits who engage in policy and advocacy. They may not however, give money for lobbying. This resource by the Nonprofit Quarterly is a handy guide for understanding the difference. I underscore this point because in the era of Citizens United, when corporations are finding an amplified voice in our culture, it is imperative that the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors do the same.
Back to Tym’s piece in which he shares the work of Oliver Hubbard, a chicken farmer who became a wealthy man by developing new breeds of poultry. I find that fact endearing because my Greek Papou was a chicken farmer. Papou did not however, develop new breeds. While our family ate well, we were not able to give 43 million dollars to New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to do groundbreaking work. Yes, that's right, 43 MILLION dollars! Tym does a much better job than I can describing the many successes of Mr. Hubbard’s charitable investment over the years. In light of the President’s comments about New Hampshire being a “drug infested den” let me just set the record straight: New Hampshire, like every other state in the union, does face the scourge of addiction and substance misuse. However, based on the good work of institutions like New Futures, The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and people like Tym, the Granite State is making real progress in educating communities and combating addiction.
In New Hampshire, a state that is pretty stingy when it comes to public resources for health and human services, The Hubbard Fund at New Hampshire Charitable Foundation ensures that the recovery community has a voice at the table to fully maximize the effectiveness of those resources. Tym is a superstar in this work, and I for one am truly grateful for all that he does through the Foundation with the help of Mr. Hubbard’s money. Oliver Hubbard may be gone, but his generosity will not be forgotten. Now that's a legacy.
So, if you invented a new strain of chicken and had $43M to give – what would you invest in? Let me know.