To continue, more importantly—and for this I credit the “new philanthropists”—we all need to focus on the impact of relief and development efforts. If everyone can become aligned around impact, the secondary objectives of each of these parties recedes into the background.
My one critique of the book is that I’m not sure the editors give the faith community enough credit. Indeed, Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, is quoted making this point in the book. However, the editors never pick up on it. I think that faith-based initiatives get discounted or overlooked.
Why is this? Perhaps it's because faith-based initiatives are often very heavily volunteer driven and thus seen as non-professional. Partially, it may be because they are not spending huge amounts of money blowing their own horns and in many instances are trying not to leave footprints. Faith-based initiatives and organizations are often uncomfortable proclaiming their servanthood. That’s a good thing, but it does often mean that faith-based initiatives are not always at the table when discussing how we are going to Make Poverty History.
President Bush, to his credit, understood the importance of engaging the faith community in reducing poverty—both in the U.S. and abroad. I expect that President-elect Obama, with his background in community organizing and ties to the faith community, also understands this.
Let’s hope so, because it is going to take EVERYONE to Make Poverty History.