We use the word “philanthropy” a lot on this site, so much so the Editor told me that we need to ensure that there is a very clear difference between “philanthropy” and “social impact bonds”.
I feel compelled to share this article with you. The article appears on the popular creative solutions blog Good.is. It starts of on the premise the philanthropy was broken and as a result, there’s no money flowing into the social sector to fund social projects that communities worldwide so desperately need.
Dilemma #1: The Definition of “Philanthropy” is Outdated and Limiting.
Really? This kind of depends on your definition of what philanthropy is, surely? The Good article talks about Bill Gates giving half his wealth away after his death.
Firstly, Bill is alive as of yesterday, I know this because I saw him answering questions on Reddit. Secondly the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is a wonderful organisation, making real inroads into malaria suffering in Africa.
A cure for the small pox vaccine was achieved largely due to the old school philanthropy that you say “is broken.”
There are fewer big name philanthropists out there. Which is ironic considering how rich people are.
There is such a demand for aid and capital to start projects and we are seeing more and more smaller groups combine to harness the power of their capital to have a huge impact on social issues.
Dilemma #2. Society Only Expects One Percent of Businesses to Engage in Philanthropy.
“There is a very loud majority that is critical of big business”
No. A lot of people are employed by big business, have stock in big business and rely on their profits for their pension pots.
Social and ethically led investing is the biggest growth vertical in financial planning at the moment.
Joe public has started to care where their savings are being used, not just the return on investment.
Dilemma #3. Consultants Expect Compensation In Exchange for Social Impact.
Charities & social impact groups don’t always have the skill set to setup or manage a program.
Consultants can add genuine knowledge and experience to guide a project to success. The fact that they get paid to do it, surely that is social impact delivered right there.
There are so many worthy projects around the world that desperately need funding an we think philanthropy in the form of social impact bonds can ensure that there is enough money raised to deliver on these projects.
We are not sure if this piece was just to push our buttons, or to cause us to rant about its inaccuracies online.
We welcome your comments.