Thursday, April 17, 2008


"Philanthrocapitalism is a transposition of the corporate model into the charitable sector. Having made their fortunes in the market, new philanthropists see no reason why the same tight, business strictures cannot simply be applied to the non-profit domain. Instead of bureaucratic government initiatives or the cosy, self-satisfied ethos of established charities, philanthrocapitalists like Bill Clinton want to "repurpose business methods and business culture to solve the world's problems". This means, in the words of one philanthropic consultancy, "an entrepreneurial results-oriented framework, leverage, personal engagement and impatience". Indeed, the entire vocabulary of Silicon Valley is applied to social rather than corporate enterprise.

Of course, in our media culture of Dragon's Den and The Apprentice, commerce can do no wrong. But Edwards suggests that the bottom-line ethos of the business world is not necessarily in accordance with the demands of accountability, voice, and an engaged public sphere that effective charity requires."

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