Giving Compass’ Take:
· Writing for Philanthropy In Focus, Rolf Alter and Timo Unger address the lack of trust in civil society and discuss Philanthropy.Insight’s framework for working towards trust-driven philanthropy.
· What factors contribute to the distrust between foundations and society?
Concerns for “good” philanthropy are not really new, starting with Turgot’s famous 18th century call to destroy the foundations. By now, codes of conduct – all-present instruments of prescription of ethical behaviour – have been in existence for quite some time, and toolkits have been developed in different shapes and forms. But the question remains: Are they making a difference to behaviour, attitudes, action, results, or perception of philanthropies and foundations in particular? And more precisely: Does the focus on impact suffice to pass judgement on them?
Looking at the low levels of trust in civil society, doubts are called for. There are many factors at work that undermine philanthropy and foundations. Not least scant public knowledge or awareness of philanthropy; more importantly, a world in disruption, the disappearance of certainties of any kind, economic, social and political divides are influencing the role and potential of philanthropy. The question of compatibility of philanthropy and democracy has been tabled by well-known experts and academics such as Rob Reich or Helmut Anheier most recently in no uncertain terms. If foundations want to respond to these challenges, another symbolic declaration or yet another standard, well intended as it may be, will not help.
This is where Philanthropy.Insight comes in.
The initiative launched by Rolf Alter and Rupert Strachwitz proposes a framework for working towards a trust-driven philanthropy. Consultations and bilateral discussions with foundations, academic experts and philanthropic practitioners since the launch of the initiative 12 months ago have confirmed the support for a novel way of philanthropic leaders to make use of today’s disruptive dynamics and pivot the decline of confidence into their ability to contribute positively to society.
Read the full article about a trust-driven approach to philanthropy by Rolf Alter and Timo Unger at Philanthropy In Focus.
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