Proven strategies for transforming charitable giving revealed in follow up to Toxic Charity
ATLANTA – June 9, 2015 – As a veteran urban activist, Focused Community Strategies (FCS) Founder Robert D. Lupton has been at the forefront of urban ministry for more than forty years. In his decades of experience transforming underserved neighborhoods to flourishing communities, he has learned first-hand through trial and error what really works, what does not, and what makes things worse.
Americans like to give, and our charitable organizations are some of the largest in the world. But, in his revolutionary book, Toxic Charity (first published 2011), Lupton revealed the truth that while modern charity programs are meant to help the poor, they are largely ineffectual in moving the poverty needle. American churches are at the forefront of this massive industry based on compassion – spending billions on programs such as food pantries, clothes closets and mission trips. These programs inadvertently establish dependency and turn people into beggars. While charity makes donors feel better, Lupton argues, it often hurts the people it is designed to help.
In his new book, Charity Detox: What Charity Would Look Like If We Cared About Results (HarperOne; July 2015), Lupton asks: What would charity look like if we asked for results – if an organization was measured by its ability to actually alleviate poverty and solve the problem it was founded to address? The truth is, few of us expect or ask about results. But, the hard reality is, it takes more than compassionate hearts and generous gifts to elevate people in need out of poverty. We cannot serve others out of poverty; we have to provide them with the resources they need to make true and lasting change in their lives. Lupton argues that the most effective method for doing so is economic development that creates jobs.
In Charity Detox, Lupton shares many strategies that have been proven to revolutionize what we can do with charity dollars. He outlines how to structure programs that actually improve the quality of life of the poor and disenfranchised, and offers numerous examples of organizations that have successfully adopted these groundbreaking new models. He concludes the book by sharing seven steps for exploring untapped economic opportunities and increasing prosperity:
- Encourage religious tourism.
- Stop undercutting local businesses by distributing suitcases full of donated clothing, shoes, candy, etc.
- Support local self-sufficiency by offering technical training.
- Provide business loans to entrepreneurs.
- Invest with locals in for-profit businesses.
- Hire unemployed/underemployed workers.
- Start for-profit businesses that employ local residents.
Charity Detox shows that by redirecting strategies and becoming committed to results, charity enterprises can become truly as transformative as the ideals behind their existence. Every church or service organization in America seeking a model for charity-related efforts will find the advice in this book invaluable. Additionally, the criteria outlined will offer a guide for donors looking to find the right charities and ministries they want to support financially.
To preorder your copy of Charity Detox, visit www.fcsministries.org/charitydetox.
About the Author
Robert D. Lupton is the founder of Focused Community Strategies through which he has developed two mixed-income subdivisions, organized a multiracial congregation, started a number of businesses, created housing for hundreds of families, and initiated a wide range of human services in his community. Lupton is the author of Toxic Charity, Theirs Is the Kingdom, Return Flight, Renewing the City, Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life, and the widely circulated “Urban Perspectives,” monthly reflections on the Gospel and the poor. World Magazine named Toxic Charity runner-up for best book of the year in 2011. It also won the 2013 Silver Nautilus Award. Lupton has a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Georgia.
About Focused Community Strategies
Focused Community Strategies partners with underserved neighborhoods to provide innovative and holistic development that promotes flourishing communities where God’s Shalom is present. Focused Community Strategies is a team of visionaries and social entrepreneurs, transforming distressed urban neighborhoods through Christian community development. For more than 30 years, Focused Community Strategies has demonstrated that the most transformative urban ministry is community-based. With an emphasis on neighborhood leadership and a commitment to mixed-income housing development, Focused Community Strategies yields both social and spiritual vitality as well as economic viability. For more information, visit: www.fcsministries.org.
Ashley Biondich, Public Relations for FCS
Office: 404-949-3777 x492
Renée Senogles, Public Relations for Charity Detox