09January

Is this the age of the 'philanthropreneur'?

Rajesh Chandy, professor of marketing at London Business School, argues that today’s philanthropists are much more interventionist than their charitable predecessors. "They know that a cheque can only get you so far."

Rajesh Chandy, Professor of Marketing; Tony and Maureen Wheeler Chair in Entrepreneurship, London School of Business

According to Professor Chandy, the Victorian model of philanthropy, that of a rich person graciously bestowing a large cheque before departing into the sunset, is being replaced by “philanthropreneurship”. 

The new philanthropreneur applies practical and entrepreneurial approaches to the pursuit of philanthropy. What's more, they are not acting alone. Philanthropreneurship is highly collaborative. High-net-worth individuals the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates, Jeff Skoll and Pierre Omidyar of eBay, Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson, and Steve Case of AOL, pool the resources and expertise to achieve global goals. Grants are no longer invested in things, but in the people who make things happen.

Chandy identifies four elements of Philanthropreneurship:

  1. a passion to make life better for others, especially those who are underprivileged;
  2. giving, whether in terms of money or time;
  3. creativity, the envisioning of novel approaches to solving problems, and;
  4. leadership – directing, organising and influencing the efforts of others.

Read the entire article, The age of the 'philanthropreneur', in the Mail & Guardian.