Recents in Beach

Differentiate between Philanthropyand Charity.

 Philanthropy should be more longterm, more strategic, more big picture than charity. It should have a 'better vision' of the future of the issue it's addressing and plans to move the issue forward. I use 'should' and 'more' because I don't agree that most philanthropy meet that criteria, today.

Charity, I consider to be more short-term, far more immediate. It can be me handing someone $1 on the street or giving $1,000s to a specific organization, but its not about '5 years from now, I want you to be here.' It's about, this is what I can give for what you need.

Many people underrate charity and most overvalue philanthropy. It reminds me of this story in Stanford's Social Innovation Review: Charity vs. Philanthropy (SSIR) basically it questions are belief that giving for an immediate need is weak and potentially pointless, while promoting philanthropy as the strategic bullet against social ills. Philanthropy will do what charity has failed to do, 'get rid of those pesky, messy, needy issues, so we can all just get on with getting on with our lives. I've got episodes of Archer, Castle, and Hawaii 5.0 to watch, are those children STILL hungry?

 The problem I have with this, well, the vision of philanthropy as a sniper's rifle, strategically removing ills. Maybe that is what philanthropy was designed to be and could be, but it's not really what most philanthropy is. Philanthropy is often just as 'messy' as charity is believed to be, but with larger amounts of money and resources. It can come with a decided lack of vision, strings that tie the hands of the organizations taking action, and let's not get into the philosophies and egos.

This isn't really a critique against Philanthropy. I think its great. I also think that too many people overlook 'everyday philanthropy' and have active disdain for charity, thinking it overly emotional and illogical (the 50s, 60s, 70s classification of woman's work).

You can give randomly and you can give strategically, and one isn't necessarily better than the other.

Now when Philanthropy is good, it can be amazing. A longterm allocation of resources to address a specific issue, provided directly to organizations working directly on those issues, with measurements of success, planned obsolescence, provision of the funds to accomplish stated goals, and access to power brokers to make change— policy, laws, etc.

But most philanthropy is just provision of larger amounts of financial resources. Which is why, I state the distinction is good to know, but not overly vital, these days. From my perspective, if you are going to bother to make a distinction, then… 

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