The latest offering is no exception. The subject of the regular column, The Observer, fits in with my Monday deluge of blog posts. Pittsburgh's tradition of philanthropy is not a relic to be taken for granted. Instead, it is a global brand that could define the city's next era of success:
There lies the opportunity for Pittsburgh. What city is better poised to become the headquarters of that international industry than Pittsburgh? It was here that the modern philanthropy began with Carnegie and his famous thought that "He who dies rich, dies disgraced." It is here that philanthropy has grown and flourished more than anywhere else - some 100 years later, we remain No. 2 in philanthropic assets per capita, behind Seattle with its Gates-Buffett philanthropic merger.
Like philanthropy, the Burgh Diaspora is an under-appreciated asset. There are many others beyond those two. Read Pittsburgh Quarterly and rediscover what they are.
Edit: A recent Thomas Barnett blog post reminds me that one of the feature stories in this issue of Pittsburgh Quarterly covers Pittsburgh's business with China. What is the philanthropy angle?
While foreign charities are officially banned from soliciting charitable donations in mainland China, some large U.S. nonprofits are sniffing out ways to catch the new philanthropists’ money. The University of California, for example, has established a fund-raising arm in Hong Kong, which operates under different laws from the mainland. However, foreign charities need to tread carefully around China’s different approaches to philanthropy. The government is wary of giving too much financial and political independence to nonprofits, even if it has gingerly embraced them as a way to fight the nation’s widespread poverty—about 10% of Chinese people live on less than $1 a day. Mr. Wilhelm says there are about 340,000 nonprofit groups in China, although he says estimates run as high as two million.
Philanthropy is a growth industry and Pittsburgh should be a global player.