Michael Edwards, author of Just Another Emperor, a critique of Philanthrocapitalism:
“I think this is useful, but I’m not sure where it is heading in operational terms. It’s impossible to represent all the various dimensions on one diagram (maybe a cube would be better – as IDS Sussex have done to represent different elements of power) and people will always disagree on which are most important and where they place themselves – that’s part of the reality of very diverse views and voices that you are pointing to. I would add “control vs trust” and “process vs product” to your list.”
Barry Varela of Duke’s Center for Strategic Philanthropy:
“The horizontal axis might be Intrinsic Reward (self esteem, feeling of belonging, guilt reduction) v. Extrinsic Reward (tax avoidance, public recognition, thank-you letters). That’s pretty self-explanatory so I won’t elaborate.
The vertical axis might be Giving Back v. Reaching Out. By Giving Back, I refer to the sort of giving that’s motivated by gratitude and is directed toward recipients with whom the giver identifies. A classic case might be giving to one’s alma mater. By Reaching Out, I refer to the sort of giving that’s motivated by the broadest definition of philia (brotherly love)—that is, empathy with recipients who are decidedly different from the giver. A case might be donating to a relief agency working in a distant land, among people whom the donor has no connection to and will never see.”
“I’m not sure that a two dimensional compass is the right metaphor as traditional social policy analysis talks of three dimensions: the provisions, the financing choices and the delivery system. I have found this framework useful in the philanthropic realm as choices along each of these three axes can and will change outcomes.
Another potential framework looks at the transactional-transformational axis. Does the philanthropist select transactional (but nevertheless, valuable) choices or does (s)he seek to transform an area.”
Noah Flowers of Monitor Institute points us to a similar framework analysis of cultural values that charts countries’ cultural values against the axes of Traditional-Secular Rational and Survival-Self-Expression:
I agree with Jeff and Michael that adding a third dimension may well be useful. It may also be excessively complicating. The trick is to find the model that is as simple as possible without being too simple. So let’s identify potential axes first and then decide how many we need.
I agree with Barry that two major modes of giving are related to intrinsic reward and extrinsic reward. But I doubt that these are actually values. Once located on the map, donors should generally agree with their location and I doubt that many people would proudly proclaim that the core value driving their giving was external praise.
However, I strongly support Barry’s suggestion of what he calls Giving Back vs. Reaching Out. I believe that this axis is likely to be one of the core issues driving philanthropy. Andrew Carnegie kick started modern philanthropy with his book the Gospel of Wealth. In it, Carnegie argued that the wealthy have a moral obligation to give back. He posits that because they have benefited from society, they must give back to society. However, I believe that today, more and more donors feel that their wealth comes from a process of value creation, not value extraction and so while they may be thankful to have been born into a society which values their skills and provided the infrastructure needed for them to succeed, their giving is primarily motivated by an urge to create social value (which may be a drive for self-actualization). This axis taps into some of the same themes I was trying to get at with my suggestion of a Creation-Distribution axis, by Barry’s description is much more targeted. However, I’d like to see a better label for the “Reaching Out” end of the axis. Any ideas?
I believe that Jeff’s suggestion of a Transactional-Transformational axis is also on the mark. This is inline with my suggestion of an Optimization-Transformation axis, but again my readers one-up me in clarity. This axis focuses on the donor’s belief about the potential of philanthropy. A Transactional donor is focused on making the existing social structure better, whereas the Transformational donor is interested in changing the existing social structure. However, I’d be interested in hearing other label names for the Transactional end of the axis. I’d like all axis labels to be identified as positive attributes by the donors who fall into that category. I’m not sure that “transactional” fits that criteria.
So here’s the next challenge:
Do people agree that these two axes are the right ones? Should they be modified? Are there other axes that are discreet from these two, which we should consider adding?