New Faces of Charity

Archive Report

A More Commercial Image

The image is a staple of the Christmas season: A worker for the Salvation Army stands outside a busy store, ringing a hell and asking shoppers to fulfill the giving spirit of the holiday by dropping a few coins in the pot. For decades, non-profit organizations providing aid to the poor, education and the arts relied on this country's strong tradition of altruism. Americans are among the most generous people in the world, giving $79.8 billion to philanthropic causes in 1985.1 Aided by growing support from the federal government, charities—like the bell ringer—were able to raise money simply by asking people.

Today, however, charity faces a new reality. The old-fashioned approaches to raising money are being replaced by sophisticated new methods that ...

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