For Easter I bought myself the book ‘Philanthro-capitalism’. If Easter is a time of thoughtful reflection and contemplation then I wanted to spend it reading a book universally praised for revolutionising philanthropic thinking.
Bill Clinton writes the forward from a perspective of a past President and now through the eyes of his work at ‘The Clinton Foundation’ explaining, in politics the debate on philanthropy has focused on two questions, firstly, What are you going to do? And secondly, How much are you going to spend? But the most important question (now coming into sharp focus) has always been overlooked, which is, How are you going to do it?
This ‘How’ has led to the world’s biggest donors; Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey and others, getting together to discuss how best to get philanthropy to work, reinforcing and amplifying time, money, skills and gifts given every year from those who aren’t rich but want to help others. It’s about combining the acumen and strategy of business with mankind’s desire to help.
The book makes for a terrific read but more than that, it’s shaping huge social change across the globe. Here in the UK, the Government has just launched the ‘Big Society Bank’ (in fact the Minister responsible Nick Hurd launched the idea last year with me in Wirral). This too is about change and creating the right environment to bring long-term investment and support to the social sector. It’s about helping the social sector grow and thrive as well as supporting and nurturing those much needed social initiatives on the ground.