Saheli*: Musings and Observations
Thursday, December 25, 2003
 
A great bit of public radio.
My sister and I went out for a drive along the sunny East Bay ridge that is the topological essence of what I call home. The flowers were sparse but still everywhere and bright, and I was very happy not to be having a white Christmas.

And there was public radio, just like old times when we used to drive up and down that ridge several times a day, sometimes. First 'Another Lousy Day', about two pairs of diaries found in a Chicago thrift store.

Then a half hour of segments about Charity: Detroit gives more per capita than other people, an interview with Amanda Gebhardt, the new 26-yeard old director of a family foundation created by her aunt's will, a profile of a Bay Area fundraiser, and of the founder of a charity-watchdog group.

This made me think of Bowling Alone, a book I've left in New York. I was surprised by the sunny tone of the NPR pieces. Friends have told me that the non-profit sector is an increasingly depressing area to work in, where more time has to be spent raising less money to help now needier people. Another book I bought several years ago, Civil Society, opens with a reminiscence by the author, Brian O'Connell:

"I hadn't realized that there was a sprawling and deeply layered web of voluntary associations and institutions, that religions did more than preach their gospels, that people are often ahead of their leaders, and that democracy really rests on the underpinnings of citizen participation and influence."

Economic indicators like consumer confidence, job growth, unemployment, etc., are all easily bandied about. Indicators like absolute amount of charitable donation seem easily skewed by anomolies, like tycoons setting up business schools and gallery wings. (See Slate's biggest donor list from last year.) In general it seems like the nonprofit sector isn't reported upon often enough, and that most people (myself included) don't have much of a grasp on the role it plays in keeping our social engine going. This is particularly unfair because, as I've learned this last fall in Journalism school, the nonprofit sector--with its advocacy groups, research institutions, and street-credibility--is often a journalist's best friend.
 


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Saheli Datta started this when she was a journalism student at Columbia in New York. Now she lives in the Bay Area. *Old people call me R. New people, call me Saheli. Thanks! My homepage. Specifically, my links. Email me: Saheli [AT] Gmail [dot] Com

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Blogs I Read (Or Try To)
113th Street
american footprints(Nadezhda & Praktike)
ANNA's Diary
Apartment Therapy
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Dave Barry
The Bellman
Mine's On The 45 (Brimful)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
ChennaiCentral
ClimateBoy
Combing the Sphere
Crooked Timber
Daily Dose of Imagery
The Daily Rhino (Bong Breaker)
Dark Days Ahead
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Atanu Dey on India's Development (Deeshaa)
Daniel Drezner
Ennis
Ephemera
Cyrus Farivar
Finding My Voice
Forsv
Neil Gaiman
Ganesh Blog
Geeky Chic 2.0 (Echan)
Geomblog
Green Ink!
Heliolith
Alexandra Huddleston
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Indeterminacy
India Uncut
InSpiteOfEverything
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter et al
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Jesus Politics
John and Belle Have a Blog
Mark A. R. Kleiman
KnowProse (Taran Rampersad)
1Locana
Maenad (Nori Heikkinen)
Scott McCloud
Mind Without Borders
Electrolite: Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Corey Pein
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Kevin G. Powell
QuakeHelp (South Asian Quake)
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
Reneebop
Rhinocrisy
Scott Rosenberg(Salon.com)
Rox Populi
Felix(&Rhian)Salmon
samVaad
Nick Schager
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Sepia Mutiny
Amardeep Singh
Snarkmarket (Robin Sloan & Matt Thompson)
South-East Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Blog
SreeTips: New To Sree
Steprous (Bear)
Robert Stribley
Subjunctive.net:klog
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
Tech Policy
TiffinBox
A Tiny Revolution
To The Teeth
TreeHugger
Unfogged
VatulBlog
Venk@
Manish Vij
Vinod's Blog
War and Piece
Nollind Whachell
Wonkette
WorldChanging
Matthew Yglesias:Old
Yglesias:Tpmcafe
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham
Ethan Zuckerman
Zwichenzug



Some Categories

Blogs focusing on policy, politics, and national security:
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Daniel Drezner
Eschaton(Atrios)
Green Ink!
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Informed Comment: Juan Cole
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Irregular Analyses
Jesus Politics
Mark A. R. Kleiman
Liberals Against Terrorism(Nadezhda & Praktike)
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
War and Piece
Wonkette
Yglesias:Tpmcafe

Photo Blogs
Daily Dose of Imagery
Ephemera
Alexandra Huddleston
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
TiffinBox

Columbia Journalism Folks
Apartment Therapy
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
Ranajit Dam
Cyrus Farivar
Alexandra Huddleston
InSpiteOfEverything
Corey Pein
Nick Schager
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham

Literature, Fiction and Entertainment
Dave Barry
Neil Gaiman
Electrolite: Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Scott McCloud


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