In Philanthropy Daily, Bill Schambra writes:
A showdown is coming for those of us who argue that charitable giving should attend first to our own community. We face the challenge of a new movement called “effective altruism” – a radical utilitarian approach to giving that might best be described as “strategic philanthropy on steroids.” In this view, localism is not just a suboptimal way of giving. It is in fact a morally questionable diversion of resources away from those who might benefit most from them.
As we gird our loins for this contest, we can rally around the deeply thoughtful and compelling manifesto for the cause of “philanthrolocalism” presented by Jeremy Beer at last year’s annual meeting of Front Porch Republic, soon to be published in Communio.
As he put it,
[P]hilanthrolocalism is a philosophy of giving that prioritizes the use of resources to help one’s own place, including one’s neighbors, community members, churches, businesses, cultural institutions, civic associations, and ecology. Philanthrolocalists seek to deploy resources to promote human flourishing and civic life in their own local communities.
In addition to our new manifesto, philanthrolocalism can count on at least one other not insignificant asset: the stubborn, deep-seated allegiance of the vast majority of American citizens.