• Simone Joyaux

    Any decent fundraising professional — any well-run fundraising program — any top notch NGO…….. ALL believe that philanthropy has nothing to do with gift size. Philanthropy is love of humankind (the Greeks). Philanthropy is voluntary action for the common good (Bob Payton).

    Philanthropy is giving time or money. A philanthropist is the person who gives $25 or 10 euros or or ….

    Shame on us. Shame on anyone or any organization who thinks that philanthropy is about size.

    Let’s cut the crap people. I’m so tired of the skewed way of thinking. The ignoble behaviors. The inappropriate strategies.

  • Michael J. Rosen, CFRE

    I take issue with the underlying theme of the article that somehow wealthy philanthropists are more narcissistic than other donors and that the causes they choose to support are likewise less worthy.

    For example, Robert Reich is quoted as saying, “Philanthropy appears to be more about the pursuit of one’s own projects, a mechanism for the expression of one’s values or preferences rather than a mechanism for the redistribution or relief for the poor.”

    What unmitigated liberal nonsense! (For the record, I’m a moderate.) Philanthropy is not about wealth “redistribution.” It’s about individuals voluntarily donating THEIR money to causes that THEY believe will make society better. Do they look at what’s in it for them? Sure, just like all donors do. However, there is no evidence that supports Reich’s view.

    Let’s take the example from the article about Fred Eshelman’s $100 million gift to the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. Yes, he gets his name on a school and institute. So what? The pharmacy school he supports has generated more than 130 patents and spun off 15 companies. In other words, the school has been innovative and has led to the creation of companies that are creating jobs. While Eshelman has benefited from his giving, it has not been a pure ego-trip. The school was already contributing greatly to society. Now, it will be able to build on that tradition.

    Enough with the class warfare in this country!

  • Justice Pobi

    I agree with you.. It may be a perception but Philanthropy, in most cases, is no longer a mechanism for redistribution of resources or relief for the poor.

    The choice is at the level of the giver and until the tax authorities come out with a framework whereby different tax relief rates are applicable to different categories of recipients, the individual values and preferences will solely determine the recipients.