I think that's exactly why we're not finding anything. Even with out best radio telescopes, like the Very Large Array, we would be unable to detect a civilization equal to us any farther than 5-10 light years at best if we are just listening for incidental radio leakage.
Only way we'd detect them is if we got REALLY lucky and one of our radio telescopes was aimed at them just at the right time to pick up a signal they deliberately aimed at us. If we happen to find anyone with today's technology, it either means we got VERY lucky or they are significantly more advanced than us.
Probably our best bet in terms of near term technologies is to invest in increasingly bigger and better orbiting optical telescopes. It may then be possible to detect at great distances if a extra-solar planet has life or not just through spectral analysis of it's atmospheric composition. Wouldn't tell us if the life is intelligent or just some algae, but would certainly narrow the search by orders of magnitude and give a target for our radio telescopes.
Apparently 72.73% of LPF members responding to you poll believe "yes, intelligent life with technology and civilizations" without any shred evidence of same so --problem solved--they exist -why the need to go any further?
Why waste the money on daydreams of maybe.
Even if true it make it is pretty much meaningless anyway.
Would be much better spent doing something positive for people already on earth.
Maybe detecting and communicating with people here on earth is a better choice,