The truth of philanthropy’s intentions is contained in actions, not words
From the pandemic to nuclear and technological threat, inequality and climate change, we are confronted with a polycrisis, many elements of which are rooted in our predominant economic and social mode, which poses an existential threat to humanity.
What does this mean for philanthropy? Some might say, nothing. Challenges evolve, new ones appear, and philanthropic actors are doing their work on what is of interest to them in the best way they can. But can we practise the love of humanity – the original meaning of philanthropy – and ignore the existential threats it is facing? We believe not. This does not mean all philanthropic actors should follow the same agenda and priorities. Philanthropy has and should have as many forms as there are philanthropic actors. But given the present moment, we believe that all of them, regardless of their size and mission, should urgently revisit their ways of working. Each of us should ask ourselves how we can contribute to bringing about the kind of transformation the world needs to overcome the threats we are grappling with.
But can we practise the love of humanity – the original meaning of philanthropy – and ignore the existential threats it is facing? We believe not.
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