We Need New Theories About Philanthropy

The dual failure theory, in simplest form, says that philanthropy and the nonprofit sector exist because of the failures of the other two sectors: government and the marketplace. When there are public goods or needs that are not met by the market because they are not profitable or by government which could be for a lot of reasons, then philanthropy steps in…

From the panelists, we learned about how philanthropy is good at:

  • Building individual and community capacity
  • Raising awareness
  • Empowering citizens through engagement
  • Facilitating collaboration across social divides or institutional animosities
  • Highlighting social injustice
  • Experimenting with new solutions that other sectors might take to scale and providing the data needed for better decisions by all sectors

…  I’ve realized that a theory about philanthropy as essential because of the failure of the other sectors is not so useful. What we need is a theory about philanthropy as essential to the other sectors.

via We Need New Theories About Philanthropy – RE:Philanthropy.

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