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An Indian Spring?

India’s wealthy gave Bill Gates and Warren Buffett a somewhat mixed reception last year when they visited the country last year to spread the gospel of philanthropy. Mukesh Ambani, one of India’s most prominent tycoons, let it be known that he preferred watching cricket to dining with the American philanthrovangelists, whilst the 70 or so […]

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#StopMiserablism

A man dies and goes to Hell. On arrival Lucifer gives him a tour of the facilities: the damned are divided into national groupings, each with their own pot of boiling sulphur covered with a heavy steel lid. Yet one pot has no lid. “Who’s that for?”, asks the new member of the damned. “Oh, […]

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The Fast Track Versus The Global Fund

Earlier this week former British prime minister Gordon Brown emerged from hibernation to lobby for a bold new plan to push education up the global agenda. The world has made progress in recent years but, Mr Brown reports, 68 million kids still get no education. Worse, he warns, cuts to aid budgets mean that we […]

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The Year of Giving Politically

Having had some success with our predictions for 2011, we decided to put our necks on the line for 2012. What do we see in the philanthrocrystal ball? Giving becoming more dangerous, more controversial and more political, among other things, as philanthrocapitalists find themselves at the centre of some of the year’s biggest news stories. […]

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Books of the Year

If you need proof that philanthrocapitalism matters more than ever, look no further than the large number of books touching on effective giving and social change that have been published this year. Excluding our own contribution, The Road From Ruin (published in paperback this year in both Britain and America), here in no particular order […]

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Did It Work?

‘The Year of Fighting Over What Works’ was our headline prediction for 2011. So how did we do? Let’s take a look at the 10 scenarios we saw when we peered into our philanthrocrystal ball back in January. 1) “A battle is going to rage over the relationship between profit and philanthropy.” And some. Within […]

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Debating the Wedge Issue

Is philanthrocapitalism a force for social change? That is the theme of a debate we are having with Kavita Ramdas, the former CEO of the Global Fund for Women, on the website of the consistently excellent Stanford Social Innovation Review. She says, no it isn’t. We say, yes it is! Introducing the debate, the SSIR […]

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History Repeating?

How new is the new philanthropy? This is the question posed by a new BBC Radio series (sorry, UK only) that is looking back at the history of philanthropy. Most discussions about philanthropists of the past go back little more than a century to the founders of ‘modern’ strategic philanthropy, Andrew Carnegie and John D. […]

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No More Labradors Please

Want to raise a lot of money from the public? The answer, according to Sir Stuart Etherington the chief of Britain’s voluntary sector trade body, the NCVO, speaking at a conference in London on Thursday morning, is to set up a charity featuring “a Labrador driving a life boat”. Most giving, he argued, is not […]

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A National Treasure

We were cheered and intrigued to learn that the trustees of one of Britain’s oddest foundations are looking at changing its mission. The National Fund was created in the 1920s with a donation of £500,000 by an anonymous donor with the purpose of paying off Britain’s national debt. For more than 80 years it has […]