Alternative Investments

Free to Give

By, 11/21/2006

To kick off the holiday week, we're taking a look at the "New Philanthropy". Contemporary philanthropic endeavors are no longer characterized by stodgy, bureaucratic old institutions like Carnegie or Kellogg. The non-profit organizations of the past are mired in a sea of non-competitive practice and red tape preventing a great deal of capital from reaching its intended source—those in need. Today's philanthropy is dynamic and evolving through systems of innovation and competition based on free market principles…and it's making charity more productive and efficient than ever.

First, a look at Venture Philanthropists. These "greedy" people, looking for a big charitable return on each dollar "invested", are making charities more competitive and accountable and spurring new ideas in helping people.

Grant Away: Why Venture Philanthropy is Important, Even if It Sounds Ridiculous
By Henry Blodget

New philanthropy isn't just attracting big money from rich people…those rich people are getting involved and becoming accountable for the philanthropic results their money creates. Melinda Gates doesn't just oversee the massive flows of capital through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, she's an executive as knowledgeable as anyone about the problems being attacked, and is judged upon her results.

Melinda Gates Tops the List
By Marilyn Chase

In the midst of all this, there's even a movement to make stock in non-profit organizations publicly traded. "Investors" buy "shares" of the charities that are the most profitable (i.e. that get the best charitable results per dollar), allowing capital to flow freely to the best organizations and also making tax breaks on donations even more attractive to private citizens.

Market Magic: Nonprofits Could Access Needed Capital by Turning Donors into Investors
By Douglas K. Smith

But let's not forget good old traditional for-profit investment, which is vital in keeping large endowments, scholarship funds and the like from depleting each year.

The Gifts That Keep On Giving: Why Smart Investment Policy is Critical to Healthy Philanthropy
By Douglas K. Smith

Lastly, Google has taken a huge leap in creating a for-profit charity!

*The content contained in this article represents only the opinions and viewpoints of the Fisher Investments editorial staff.

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*The content contained in this article represents only the opinions and viewpoints of the Fisher Investments editorial staff.


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