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Philanthrocapitalism: How the Rich Can Save the World

3.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  164 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
An examination of how today's leading philanthropists are revolutionizing the field, using new methods to have a vastly greater impact on the world.

For philanthropists of the past, charity was often a matter of simply giving money away. For the philanthrocapitalists – the new generation of billionaires who are reshaping the way they give – it's like business. Largely train
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 30th 2008 by Bloomsbury Press
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Austin Carroll Keeley
Feb 09, 2014 Austin Carroll Keeley rated it it was ok
Shelves: social-sector
A decent introduction to the giving patterns of the 1%, but this book has several major failings. First, published in 2008 the book cannot take into account the changes in philanthropy due to the financial crisis, nor can it recognize the general population's frustration with the super rich. Second, the book's central thesis- the rich can make a big difference by giving away their money- isn't exactly rocket science. Bishop and Green rely too much on name dropping and a few case studies/intervie ...more
May 18, 2009 Nora rated it it was ok
Bishop is very naive in some ways- he definitely sees through rose-tinted glasses, believing the super-rich are the potential saviors of the modern world. The book lacks any kind of depth of understanding of the other sides of the "philanthrocapitalist" equation- billionaires don't grow on trees and profits don't just happen- in most cases they are made by the exploitation of other people and/or the environment.
Jul 26, 2011 Sally added it
Perhaps because I just finished Zissner's "On Writing Well," I couldn't help but notice that this book needs a good edit. In particular, I almost stopped reading it right near the end when I found I just couldn't take another use of the word "whilst" when "while" would suffice. WHY??? Why would anyone EVER use the word "whilst," let alone OVER AND OVER AGAIN?? I sometimes found it hard to concentrate on the content when all those "whilsts" kept popping up all over the place. Also, there were a n ...more
Ankur Maniar
Jul 31, 2012 Ankur Maniar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is like an encyclopedia of the world of philanthrophy. You cant help but admire the amazing work which is being done by billionaires like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Rockfeller Foundation, Oprah Winfrey, Rockstar Bono and many others. Amongst all the terrible newsflow that we hear these days, this book gives you an insight about the tremendous goodness that prevails in this world. The capitalists, mostly portrayed as evil are the ones who are trying to make a difference by adopting a busine ...more
Kressel Housman
What an inspiring book! I knew a little of the philanthropy and activism of such famous folks as Bill Gates, Bono, Bill Clinton, and Oprah Winfrey, but this book gave real detail. The biggest surprises were that Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest "devils" in the financial crisis, has a solid history of philanthropy. One of its founders was a big supporter of the NAACP! Also interesting was the Robin Hood Foundation, a foundation run by hedge fund managers to fight poverty in NYC. Like with Social ...more
Dec 05, 2015 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
The "Oscars of philanthropy," the Clinton Global Initiative, took place last week in New York City. Here's a typical on-stage exchange:

After Ben Affleck introduced Hillary Rodham Clinton, she heaped praise on his work as a humanitarian as well as a movie director. Clinton said she enjoyed working with Affleck at the State Department as he was researching “Argo,” which won the Academy Award for best picture in 2012.“I’m hoping that he films Argo 2,” Clinton joked. “I’m now available.”

If plutocrat
Nov 02, 2013 Todd rated it liked it
A book with some interesting stories, but really a book by liberals for liberals. The general tone is repeated amazement that capitalism and businessmen could actually help others.

They also misrepresent research showing that conservatives give more to charity. Quoting Arthur Brooks, they note that those who are religious give more to charity. What the authors ignore, however, is Brooks' primary conclusion, that conservatives give more.

At the end of the book, the authors demand that billionaires
Feb 11, 2012 Shauna rated it liked it
I'm kind of meh on this. The discussion of public-private partnership throughout the book was useful, but the notion that massive accumulation of wealth can undo the harm of, um, massive accumulation of wealth gets only a superficial glance at best.

1. "Generous" cannot be measured by the volume of money someone donates. Generous is a measure of sacrifice, not abundance. Today's ultrarich are not more generous than the rest of the population - they just have a crapload more money.

2. The idea that
Glenn Williams
May 29, 2011 Glenn Williams rated it really liked it
The authors have conducted and analyzed lengthy interviews with social entrepreneurs, wealthy individuals, successful business leaders and high profile global figures to substantiate a significant relationship between wealth entrepreneurs and business leaders taking the initiative in creating solutions to solving social problems.

This is a great read for anyone working in the NGO and/or fundraising world who are wanting to understand the relationship between capitalism and funding solutions to so
Apr 01, 2012 Michael rated it liked it
Reads like the Reaganomics of philanthropic capitalism where it's up to the superrich to drive social good.

Many great points about the merits of applying capitalistic principles to nfp work, but I think loses sight of and offers little in the way of applying culture change at all levels of society.

Also, they seem to have a huge man-crush on Bill Gates. Not that the man isn't crush worthy for his efforts, but the book may have instead be titled:

"How Bill Gates will save the world with money."
Ajay Menon
Jul 09, 2011 Ajay Menon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: policy
Honestly I'm not certain how I feel about this book. It's certainly interesting, and the history is good, but now that I'm finished, I'm not sure that I learned anything new from it.

It is enjoyable though, you can tell while reading it that it was authored by a journalist, it kind of feels like a magazine piece if that makes any sense.
Jan 06, 2012 Katie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
This book was well written, but too boring for me. It was an assigned book club book for my office, but we all agreed we didn't want to be reading this sort of thing on our down time. I don't think anyone finished it. The half I read was well done, and I liked the inside scoop. If I'm ever heinously bored I'll try and finish it.
Jan 27, 2012 Phil rated it liked it
This is chock a block full of interesting data and examples of people or organisations doing 'stuff', but I found it a bit hard going. I know it is non-fiction, but a stronger narrative and possibly leaving some of the research in the drawer could have helped.
Mar 17, 2010 Justin rated it really liked it
Good overall summary about the changing role of philanthropy today, and excellent research regarding current main players in the field. Probably a must read if this is your field. If not, you can take it or leave it.
Mar 02, 2011 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a page-turner, but interesting and informative. I read the 2008 version, which felt a little dated because the book relies heavily on facts and figures.
Dec 01, 2008 Cheryl rated it liked it
It was nice to read about historical, cultural figures; and the trend towards more business "rigor" in philanthropy. The book is more survey than analysis.
Brandon Steenson
Aug 02, 2011 Brandon Steenson rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed this book. It looked at a lot of different facets of the changing realm of NGOs and the philanthropists that support them.
Apr 28, 2013 Michelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics
Gave up on it 65% of the way through because it got extremely repetitive. Maybe I'll come back to it someday. We'll see.
Dan Graham
Jan 03, 2011 Dan Graham rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philanthropy
A very fast walkthrough of famous philanthropists, foundations and organizations -- a bit too detail oriented for me.
Good as an introductory book, but a bit underwhelming.
Cheryl Ryan
Apr 30, 2011 Cheryl Ryan rated it it was amazing
Great and worth the read.
Gregory Stuart
Nov 12, 2012 Gregory Stuart rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Social entrepreneurs
Fantastic book!
Jun 03, 2011 Shraddha is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
great book.
Mar 13, 2010 Cheryl is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Mar 10, 2009 Laura rated it really liked it
very interesting
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MATTHEW BISHOP is the US Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief of The Economist, and the co-author, with Michael Green, of several acclaimed books, including "Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World" and "The Road From Ruin". His first e-book, again written with Mr Green, is "In Gold We Trust? The Future of Money in an Age of Uncertainty", which will be published by Amazon and The ...more
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