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The New Face of Philanthropy
December 11, 2002

"I dream for a living." –Steven Spielberg


In an excellent article on trends in philanthropy in the USA, Business Week magazine (December 2, 2002) describes what it calls "the new face of philanthropy":

"Not since the Gilded Age, when harsh overlords such as Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller Sr. put millions of their dollars toward good works, has philanthropy been as bold and ambitious. The spectacular late-1990s runup in the stock market created a generation of newly super-rich executives and entrepreneurs worth hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars. Even after the sharp decline in the market, the ranks of the very wealthy have never been stronger--and many are now working almost as hard at giving their fortunes away as they did at amassing them. Since 1990, charitable donations by individuals have grown by half, from $110 billion to $164 billion in 2001. By harking back to the individualistic style of giving practiced by Carnegie, these donors are ushering in a new era of philanthropy.
"This new philanthropy displays an impatient disdain for the cautious and unimaginative check-writing that dominated charitable giving for decades. So what does it look like?

—It's more ambitious: Today's philanthropists are tackling giant issues, from remaking American education to curing cancer.

—It's more strategic: Donors are taking the same systematic approach they used to compete in business, laying out detailed plans that get at the heart of systemic problems, not just symptoms.

—It's more global: Just as business doesn't stop at national borders, neither does charitable giving. Donors from William H. Gates III to George Soros have sweeping international agendas.

—It demands results: The new philanthropists attach a lot of strings. Recipients are often required to meet milestone goals, to invite foundation members onto their boards, and to produce measurable results--or risk losing their funding."

For the complete text of this article, go here.

For ideas on fundraising in the early childhood world, check out Managing Money: A Center Director's Guidebook in the Exchange Bookstore at www.ChildCareExchange.com.


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