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Rise of the Philanthrocapitalists

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: Philanthropy, giving, charity, Dissent,

Social entrepreneurs around the world have begun promoting a new kind of philanthropy, Alix Rule writes for Dissent. Social good has become the buzzword of today’s philanthropists, based on advanced “metrics” and “sophisticated techniques” designed for maximum “efficacy and effectiveness.” Philanthropy, according to Rule, is philosophically intertwining with business, and good is being reduced to a kind of currency. 

This trend is troubling if not dishonest, writes Rule. There is a near total disregard in this money-as-good philosophy for collectivity and public discourse. It focuses instead on individuals and what they can return for the investors. The recent trend toward corporations accepting responsibility for their actions is undoubtedly a good thing, and the new philanthropists have produced some impressive results, but mixing the goals of philanthropists with the profit-seeking motives of business is not a good long-term strategy for creating a more just world.

For more on rethinking charity in today’s economic crisis, read Giving When It Hurts from the March-April issue of Utne Reader.

Source: Dissent (Subscription required)