Well, the White House is now so completely and totally partisan and political that they have now gone after philanthropists to get them to become political advocates. See here.
Let's be honest: politics is not the end-all and be-all of life. If it is, then you've got a problem, one that could be solved by perhaps getting out more.
If you thought that philanthropy's mission was simply to donate to areas in need, then you haven't been paying attention. As Gara LaMarche, president of Atlantic Philanthropies stated: "Charity is insufficient unless there's some alteration to underlying structures." Other panelists fleshed out the picture of a brave new world of "strategic philanthropy," in which goals such as "transformative change" and political advocacy, including work with the Obama administration, become essential components of philanthropic work.
In fact, Constance Rice, co-director of the Advancement Project-Los Angeles, recommended that foundations place themselves "well beyond advocacy" in a position of full-fledged activism. Deepak Bhargava, executive director of the Center for Community Change, cited "large scale protest" as a central requirement for philanthropic impact. Just what sort of impact are they seeking? Panelists cited migrant rights, income justice , reproductive justice and climate change.
Sigh. These are amongst the most tedious folks out there. This isn't philanthropy any more. More the shame for them.
This is the fundamental problem with the Obama Administration and the left in general. Conservatives just want to be left alone to live their lives as they chose - quelle Horreur! - but the Left want to run your lives for you. They can't leave well enough alone, and I dare say that more than one benefactor, more than one of the single-donor philanthropic foundations, would be horrified to see what is now being done in his or her name.
What's to be done? Not a lot: suffice to say that the American left is increasingly part of the structural problem, and not part of the solution.