“When we do for those in need what they have the capacity to do for themselves, we disempower them,” says Robert D. Lupton, author of Toxic Charity.

He says that through America’s efforts to eliminate poverty – entitlements, programs and charities – we have succeeded only in creating a permanent underclass. Lupton believes the problem lies in that compassionate people evaluate their charity by the rewards they receive through service rather than the benefits received by the served.

He urges nonprofit leaders to adhere to The Oath for Compassionate Service, six principles to apply to service work. The book discusses these principles, along with case studies, to examine charity practice. Lupton explores the problems with many ideas that individuals, organizations and churches have about how to help the needy. He hopes to change how charity work is done by changing how people approaching helping others, using real-world examples to illustrate his points.

In Lupton’s world, we can only change how charity helps people by changing how we approach charity work ourselves.

About Bob Lupton:

Bob Lupton has invested the past 40 years of his life in inner-city Atlanta. In response to a call that he first felt while serving in Vietnam, he left a budding business career to work with delinquent urban youth. Bob and his family sold their suburban home and moved into the inner-city where they have lived and served as neighbors among those in need. His life’s work has been the rebuilding of urban neighborhoods where families can flourish and children can grow into healthy adults.

Bob is a Christian community developer, an entrepreneur who brings together communities of resource with communities of need. Through FCS Urban Ministries—a non-profit organization which he founded—he has developed three mixed-income subdivisions, organized two multiracial congregations, started a number of businesses, created housing for hundreds of families, and initiated a wide range of human services in his community. In addition to Toxic Charity, he has authored of four other books: Theirs Is the Kingdom; Return Flight; Renewing the City; and Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life. Bob Lupton has a PhD in psychology from the University of Georgia.