Philanthrocapitalism is the use of business tools and methods, mostly by the wealthy, to conduct philanthropy to achieve the greatest social good. Using business models to conduct philanthropic activity has caught the attention of the likes of former President Bill Clinton and billionaires such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Author Matthew Bishop and Michael Green has written a bestseller on how through Philanthrocapitalism the rich can save the world.
Professor Rogers and I read both sides of the argument and considered the merits of whether the very wealthy can alleviate social problems by funneling money into business like organizational models that promises to churn out results. We wanted to know whether you can really measure social progress using a cost-benefit analysis model borrowed from business and whether Philanthrocapitalism itself is just the old form of philanthropy (Foundation grants) disguised as a new phenomenon. Finally we wanted to know the implications of having the very wealthy direct social progress as opposed to governments.
Our findings were interesting in the sense that it gave us more questions to contend with. Click on this link to read about our findings published in an article in Society magazine titled, “Why Philanthro-Policymaking Matters.”