Category Archives: Philanthrocapitalism

The Philanthropy Compass: Mapping Donor Beliefs

A few weeks ago, I laid out a framework for thinking about the various roles that donors can play; philanthropic investors, charitable buyers and strategic philanthropists. The framework was meant to focus on the functional roles available to donors and to help link these roles to donor behaviors. But what about the role of philanthropy […]

Michael Edwards Responds

Michael Edwards, whose anti-social capital market blog post I criticized yesterday, offers a rebuttal via comment: Thanks for your response Sean, but it doesn’t change my views. “It’s not a competition” says Si Kahn, one of America’s leading community organizers. “There are twenty other organizations as good or better than us. I’m a movement person, […]

Are Social Capital Markets a “Bad Idea”?

The Philanthropy Central blog hosted by the Center for Strategic Philanthropy & Civil Society at Duke University has quickly established itself as a must read. The most frequent reason that philanthropy leaders cite when I ask them why they don’t write a blog is that they don’t have the time. So Philanthropy Central’s unique, week […]

The Importance of Language

From the Values Blog, written by Matthew Bishop and Michael Green the authors of the book Philanthrocapitalism: Praise for Philanthrocapitalism as “extremely well written” from an unexpected source – our old sparring partners at Gates Keepers. True, they do also take us to task for being too soft on Bill Gates, but that’s not really […]

Carla Javits on Philanthrocapitalism

At the Center for Effective Philanthropy conference, the most highly anticipated event was the debate between Matthew Bishop (author of Philanthrocapitalism) and Michael Edwards (the author of Just Another Emperor, a rebuttal to Matthew’s book). While the two had debated online (on this blog and elsewhere), this was the first time they met in person. […]

Strategic Giving by Peter Frumkin

I just finished reading Peter Frumkin’s Strategic Giving. The book came out in 2006 and the 35 pages of notes and 25 page bibliography will scare away a lot of readers. But Strategic Giving is one of the best philanthropy books I’ve read. I don’t usually take notes while I read, but my copy of […]

Matthew Bishop Draws All Star Panelists

Matthew Bishop, the author of Philanthrocapitalism is making the rounds at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos this week. Matthew is the chair of the WEF Council on Philanthropy & Social Investing of which I am a member. There’s no doubt that the concept of Philanthrocapitalism is under trememdous pressure given the state of […]

Bill Gates Annual Letter

On Monday, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will release the first annual letter of Bill Gates. A foundation or a big philanthropist releasing a letter or annual update is no big deal. But I’m hopeful that Warren Buffett’s influence might make this letter something special (at least over time). In the investment world, lots […]


I totally let the New York Times beat me to the punch! Over the summer, Dan Pallotta, the author of the new book Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential , sent me a review copy of his book. He sent it to me after reading my Financial Times column arguing in favor of […]

Philanthropy’s Response to the Financial Crisis

A few weeks ago, I asked how philanthropy can emerge from the financial crisis better positioned to face the future. It turns out that Alliance magazine, one of the best philanthropy focused periodicals, asked their editorial board the same question. So the editor of Alliance sent me her board’s answers to the question with permission […]