Inside Philanthropy

A blog on philanthropy and nonprofit news and issues. A publication of Philanthropy Journal.

March 6, 2007

The green is always greener…

The ink was barely dry on environmentalists’ seal of approval for environmental concessions by investors buying Texas utility TXU when other environmentalists started sniping at their colleagues who had helped negotiate the concessions, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The critics charged that their fellow environmentalists caved in for too little from the TXU buyers, including cutbacks on projects TXU already planned to scrap, the Journal says.

It also reports the critics say their colleagues were cowed by big business interests for a “seat at the table.”

Casting stones is easy, but persuading corporations to change their business policies and strategies is hard work that can be slow and frustrating.

And in the marketplace, while you can’t always get exactly what you want when you want it, you at least can try to chip away at making change happen.

Groups that focus on advocacy know only too well that progress often must be measured in tiny steps.

But far too few nonprofits and foundations are willing to move beyond their comfort zone of daily program work and get involved in advocacy work on complex issues whose resolution requires give-and-take on the part of everyone involved.

The TXU deal is not perfect or even as good as it might have been.

But it shows that advocacy can begin to make a difference.

And it should remind nonprofits and foundations that if they want to have a voice in making change happen, they need to move from their seats in the bleachers to engagement on the field.

What do you think? Submit a comment.

CEO out at Kintera

PJ reports today on the continuing shakeup at financially-troubled tech firm Kintera with the ouster of co-founder Harry Gruber.

Less than a month after being replaced as president and board chair, Gruber has quit as CEO.

Richard LaBarbera, who was promoted to president in February -- a year after being named chief operating officer -- was named CEO and elected to the board of the San Diego-based firm.

Gruber will continue to serve on the board.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports today that Gruber quit under pressure from several investment firms.

Kintera, which made its initial public offering of stock in late 2003 and employs 265 people, never has reported a profit.


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