Less ego, more research, says new book for philanthropists

A new book exploring the phenomenon of 'philanthrocapitalism' urges major donors such as Bill Gates and Jeff Skoll to show greater humility when deciding how to spend their money.

Just Another Emperor? The Myths and Realities of Philanthrocapitalism is by Michael Edwards, director of governance and civil society at the Ford Foundation.

Edwards, who has also worked for Oxfam, Save the Children and the World Bank, makes a series of suggestions for aspiring philanthropists. He advises them to pay for independent research into the impact of their foundations and give beneficiaries a chance to advise on spending decisions.

He also recommends that foundations should give 50 per cent of their annual funding allocation to ‘social justice philanthropy’ causes.

The book is co-published by the think tank Demos and social innovation centre the Young Foundation.

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