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Why philanthropy matters

by Guest Contributors: Louise Walsh and Katy Tyrrell, Australia Council for the Arts Government funding is not a growth industry – demonstrated by increasing competition for grants, impending budget cuts and short-term funding priorities – it’s hard to keep up. Philanthropy has become the great equaliser – bridging the gap between revenue and rising costs. Results from the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG) 2012 survey Tracking changes in Corporate Sponsorship and Private Donations indicate … Continue reading

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Philanthropy is dead

by Harrow, J. and T. Jung (2011), Public Management Review (PMR) 13(8): 1047-1056 Guest Contributor: Dr Wendy Scaife, Senior Research Fellow, Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies This special Public Management Review issue looks at how philanthropy interacts with public policy and also questions who is accountable to whom for what. Harrow and Jung’s editorial introduces some key issues in this philanthropy/government relationship, as a taster to this edition’s seven articles. They observe that … Continue reading

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Screw business as usual

by Richard Branson, published by Portfolio, December 2011 On meeting Richard Branson, Jochen Zeitz, the CEO of Sport & Lifestyle Group said: “I felt mesmerised by him at first, not sure whether I was being charmed by a beast with the nature of a lion or a golden retriever.” Mmm, I know what he means! Branson’s book is a bright and breezy, easy read. It’s peppered with well-known names, inspirational stories and a Pollyannaish sense … Continue reading

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Power and Light

Power & light: grappling with transparency and effectiveness. Video. Foundation Centre, USA, 26 January 2012 The tension between transparency and effectiveness is often not well understood by those outside the philanthropic sector. Like many of the sensitive issues around philanthropy, while engendering often quite passionate differing positions, the transparency and effectiveness tension is often not discussed publicly. In this video, panel members Brad Smith of the Foundation Center, Phil Buchanan of the Center for Effective … Continue reading

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Living with the Gates Foundation

Alliance magazine, September 2011 Raise the issue of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and, as Michael Alberg-Seberich from Active Philanthropy succinctly puts it: “People are impressed with the donor, they see the strategic work, but they find the size of the organisation tremendous and wonder about issues of power”. In the September 2011 edition of Alliance magazine, editor Caroline Hartnell, ran a special focus on ‘Living with the Gates Foundation’.  Controversially the cover of … Continue reading

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Book review: Philanthro-capitalism: How the Rich Can Save the World

Book by Matthew Bishop and Michael Green, published by A & C Black, London, 2008. Paperback edition published 2010. Reviewed by Elena Douglas In politics, most debates focus on two questions: What are you going to do? And how much money are you going to spend on it? Too little attention is given to what is often the most important question: How are you going to do it? President Bill Clinton, Foreword to 2010 paperback … Continue reading

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World Wealth Report 2011

By Cap Gemini and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, 22 June 2011 We have reached a tipping point moment in the geography of global prosperity. There are now more millionaires in the Asia Pacific (which includes Australia) than there are in Europe. With this shift in wealth distribution comes the mantle of responsibility for reinvestment in community, culture and philanthropy more generally. Australia finds itself the society with the most developed civil society and philanthropic architecture … Continue reading

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Giving White Paper

UK Cabinet Office, May 2011 Earlier this year the UK Government released a White Paper called simply Giving. The motivation for the White Paper was twofold: first, the available evidence suggested a flat-lining of giving in the UK both in terms of time and money; second, a belief that government can stimulate a ‘step change’ in giving by making it easier and more compelling to give; and better supporting those organisations in need of increased … Continue reading

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A Literature Review of Empirical Studies in Philanthropy: Eight Mechanisms That Drive Charitable Giving

By Rene Bekkers and Pamala Wiepking, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Sept 10 2010 There is now a large academic literature on philanthropy and giving. Organising this literature is no easy matter. But this was the task Bekkers and Wiepking set themselves in their wide-ranging and inter-disciplinary review of research on why people donate money to charitable organisations. The emphasis is on individual giving. There is little in the review covering corporate giving. The review … Continue reading

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Website to watch

GiveWell – more change for your dollar I saw this website when it was first launched in 2006 and I’ve watched its development ever since. It was created by some (twenty-something i.e., Gen Y) refugees from the hedge fund industry who wanted to apply their tools of investment analysis, investigation and comparison to charities and to saving lives. When they started, they made assumptions that were flawed and ran into all sorts of difficulties but … Continue reading

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