About the $10 Club
|We can all be philanthropists
By Adam M Roberts
Published: July 14, 2007
From Mr Adam M. Roberts.
Sir, Bill Clinton is quite correct that "we have to maximise private
charity and private giving" (report, July 2), and we should applaud his
remarkable effort to promote global philanthropy. And as your New
Philanthropy section shows, global leaders and well-endowed corporate
leaders are investing appropriately in alleviating poverty.
However, we must never assume someone else will solve the problems facing
those millions of people without safe water or electricity, or who earn
less than a dollar a day. Each of us can be a philanthropist with small
personal sacrifices. Get two fewer gourmet coffees each month; buy a $20
bottle of wine with dinner instead of one costing $30.
In return, we can put school uniforms on children needing an education,
start microfinance programmes, ensure that families in at-risk areas have
mosquito nets, bring safe drinking water to those without, and provide
life-saving medicines to the most desperate people on earth.
It's easy to turn away and expect governments, corporations and
high-profile figures to take all the responsibility for poverty
alleviation. But it is our responsibility, too. The question is not can we
afford to say yes; but can we afford to say no?
Adam M. Roberts,
President and Founder,
The $10 Club,
Washington, DC 20007, US
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007