Still seeking good billionaires

Matthew Bishop

The idea of philanthrocapitalism has made greater progress than its application, but it can still live up to its promise

In early 2006, I wrote a special report for The Economist, called ‘The Business of Giving’. I’d been trying to get the go-ahead for this for years, as I felt that the charitable/non-profit sector was a big and increasingly important part of the economy and society that was underreported in the mainstream media. In that report, I coined the term ‘philanthrocapitalism’ to describe an emerging approach to giving that could potentially drive a new golden era in philanthropy.

Although this movement is still growing and has become a central part of how society tackles its thorniest challenges, it is not yet growing fast enough or in enough of the right ways.

The following year, I was invited to guest edit a special issue of Alliance on the topic and in 2008, I co-authored what has proved to be an influential book of that name with Michael Green.

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