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Campus News / News

From ‘Toxic Charity’ to ‘Charity Detox’ – asset-based community development focus of upcoming talks

02/09/2016 1:25 pm

Robert Lupton, author of Toxic Charity – How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help, first came to Rockford in September 2014 to challenge the communities collective preconceived notions about charity and its outcomes. Lupton’s visit was in part spurred by his book being put on Transform Rockford’s reading list by Transform Rockford leader and Woodward, Inc. Chairman and CEO Tom Gendron, via United Way of Rock River Valley President and CEO Paul Logli.

Robert Lupton is returning to Rockford on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, to share next steps toward best practices in asset-based community development as expressed in his new book, Charity Detox – What Charity Would Look Like If We Cared About The Results. Lupton will be the keynote speaker at a luncheon hosted by Rockford University’s Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence to be held at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center, Rockford, from 11 a.m – 1 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person or $300 for a table of eight.

Bob_Lupton_Head_ShotLupton says, “Despite our most charitable efforts, the world’s poor are not emerging from poverty. The poverty gap in the United States is increasing; and across the globe, in those lands where our aid is most concentrated, the poor are getting poorer.” Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence Director Pam Clark Reidenbach adds, “It may be difficult to admit, but if we want the poor to emerge from poverty, we must face the truth. We are not moving the needle and as a society, we cannot program our way out of poverty. The only solution to poverty is a decent job, but a job only provides one with the means to leave their current neighborhood and diminish hope for others left behind. We must address as Lupton says, ‘both the needs of individuals and those of the community,’ to impact the elimination of poverty. The solution to poverty is community development and only by redirecting our strategies and becoming committed to measurable results, Lupton argues, can charity truly become as transformative as our ideals.”

Lupton’s visit is the first of a three-part series that aims to work directly with neighborhood groups, faith-based leaders and the general community to implement a process to transform our community and rebuild our urban neighborhoods into places where families can flourish and children can reach their full potential. Lupton will be followed by Jody Kretzmann, Asset-based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University, and Noel Castellanos, chief executive officer of Christian Community Development located in Chicago. Details will be forthcoming regarding upcoming dates and locations.

For more information about Robert Lupton’s March 15 keynote address, or to make your reservation, contact the Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit at (815) 226-2833 or or register at