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December 29, 2006

Charity Trends in 2006: "Giving While Living" and Social Entrepreneurship





Social entrepreneurship has increased in popularity in 2006.  Both individuals and companies are now striving to combine philantrophy with potentially profitable actions. 

December 29, 2006
Charity Trends in 2006: "Giving While Living" and Social Entrepreneurship

The popularity of social entrepreneurship, which combines corporate strategies with nonprofit goals, and a renewed emphasis on supporting causes during donors’ lifetimes were the most notable philanthropic trends of 2006, reports The Financial Times.

Warren Buffett’s $31-billion pledge to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in June stunned the nonprofit world. Mr. Buffett, who made his fortune in financial markets, is one of many financiers who have announced plans to donate their fortunes before they die, an approach called “giving while living.”

In addition to traditional gifts, groups such as Google.org and people such as Richard Branson promoted goals that are both philanthropic and potentially lucrative, such as developing more-fuel-efficient cars. This capitalistic approach to charity has given rise to, the article says, a “mini-industry” of bank specialists who guide potential donors and manage their gifts.

But business-like attitudes have led to business-like pressures on many charities to perform, a development that has drawn criticism. In addition, the article notes that record giving in 2006 could have the unintended consequence of driving smaller donors away from charities because groups seem to need less aid.

Read The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s coverage of Warren Buffett’s gift, Google philanthropy, “ and Richard Branson’s giving.

(Paid subscriptions are required to view these articles.)

Article appeared in a Philantrophy Today article on December 29, 2006:

Posted by In Ho Lee at December 29, 2006 04:31 PM

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