“How to Apply PtP to State-Owned Enterprises” by William L. Megginson and Lester M. Salamon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Chelsea Newhouse Governments around the world have recently been involved in a significant new wave of privatizations-sales of state-owned enterprises to private companies. The 48-month period between January 2013 and December 2016 saw governments raise more money through privatization sales than during any comparable previous period. Yet three times worth of government enterprises than the $3.5 trillion sold since 1977 still remain in government hands, many of them awaiting sale. What happens to the vast resources secured through such sales? Too often, it is difficult to determine. Stories of widespread corruption are rampant. Even when the proceeds are appropriately channeled into government budgets, however, their uses are hard to track. But these are the people’s assets, often the only real assets a population has. Surely a case can be made for handling them more responsibly and ensuring that citizens get a clearer benefit from their use. This is especially so given what is often the “upside-down” effects such asset sales can produce-yielding positive economic benefits for companies and citizens that are often long in coming and too dispersed to be clearly felt; while producing immediate harms in the form of lost jobs and community disruptions...

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“How to Apply PtP to Stolen or Stranded Assets” by Aaron Bornstein and Lester M. Salamon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Chelsea Newhouse According to a recent UN report, close to US$4 trillion is stolen from governments or generated by bribes or other forms of corruption each year in countries around the world—an annual sum well above the total budgets of numerous developing and transition country governments. Despite often heroic efforts, however, the record of successful discovery, confiscation, and effective return for social re-use of these vast assets has been frustratingly meager. This limited success in returning such assets for effective social re-use is largely due to the complexity of the process. Also at work, however, is that so much of the attention has had to focus on the challenges of locating, documenting, freezing, and confiscating stolen assets that too little attention has been available to focus on the all-important question of what to do with these assets if and when they become available for potential return. The document being released today seeks to remedy this shortcoming by focusing on one of the most promising of the social re-use and return options available. This is the option exemplified by the case of the BOTA Foundation in Kazakhstan, and by close to 600 other foundations that have...

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The PtP Take-Off Phase Conference: New insights into applications of the PtP concept to different asset classes

The PtP Project is pleased to bring you a new report from Project Director Dr. Lester Salamon highlighting new insights unveiled at a recent PtP Conference into how the PtP concept can be applied to a wide assortment of assets, including state-owned enterprises or facilities, debt swaps, proceeds from state-controlled gambling or mineral extraction enterprises, bribes, and the transformation of nonprofits or mutual societies into for-profit businesses.   This Conference, entitled “Philanthropication thru Privatization: The Take-Off Phase,” took place on November 3-4, 2016, at the Volkswagen Foundation’s Herrenhausen Palace Conference Center in Hanover, Germany, and assembled a diverse group of government, business, and civil society experts from countries as wide-ranging as China and Brazil, Pakistan and Poland, Italy and India, Spain and Tanzania to launch the take-off phase for the Philanthropication thru Privatization (PtP) Project—the new approach to building charitable assets from the proceeds of a variety of “privatization” transactions initially unveiled at a prior conference held in 2013.   Introducing this second PtP Conference, Dr. Wilhelm Krull, the Chairman of the PtP International Advisory Committee and General Secretary of the Volkswagen Foundation—itself a PtP foundation—noted that this concept, which was first introduced at an earlier 2013 Volkswagen Foundation...

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NEWS RELEASE | The BOTA Foundation: A Model for the Safe Return of Stolen Assets?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Chelsea Newhouse     We are pleased to announce the publication of The BOTA Foundation: A Model for the Safe Return of Stolen Assets?, the first in a series of reports from the Philanthropication thru Privatization Project (PtP) examining important examples of significant charitable endowments that have resulted from the sale or other transformation of government-owned or -controlled assets.   Prepared by international development specialist Aaron Bornstein and edited with an Introduction by PtP Project Director and Johns Hopkins University Professor Dr. Lester M. Salamon, this report analyzes the major example to date of the application of the PtP concept to stolen or disputed assets: the case of the BOTA Foundation in Kazakhstan, which arose from the seizure of assets totaling US$84 million that an American citizen secured from U.S. oil companies in the 1990s and channeled to high level officials in the Government of Kazakhstan in order to secure oil drilling rights in the Caspian Sea.   As such, it profiles one of over 550 charitable foundations that have emerged from some type of transaction transforming a government-owned or government-controlled asset into a charitable foundation. In the process, it helps point the way to...

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Now Available: Portuguese translation of “Philanthropication thru Privatization” from IDIS

We are very happy to announce the publication of a Portuguese translation of Philanthropication thru Privatization: Building Permanent Endowments for the Common Good, Filantropização via Privatização: Garantindo Receitas Permanentes para o Bem Comum.   This translation was undertaken and published by Brazil’s IDIS–Instituto para o Desenvolvimento do Investimento Social with the guidance of Marcos Kisil, IDIS founder and a consultant for the PtP Project. In addition to the full text of the English version of the report, this new translation includes a forward by Mr. Kisil that sheds light on the history of privatization transactions in Brazil and the relevance of the PtP model for in that country going forward. Below, is an English translation of Mr. Kisil’s insightful forward.     ……………………………….. Foreword to Filantropização via Privatização: Garantindo Receitas Permanentes para o Bem Comum:   The publication of the book Filantropização via Privatização, an IDIS initiative, is the result of the project directed by Professor Lester Salamon who explored the potential to create or strengthen the endowments of civil society organizations through the processes of privatization.   Endowments resulting from privatizations conducted by governments demonstrate that the assets do not belong only to the State, but also to...

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NEWS RELEASE | A “Win-Win” Solution for Transforming the Philanthropic Landscape of the World

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   With the resources and capabilities of governments and private charity barely growing or in decline around the world, yet the problems of poverty, ill-health, and environmental degradation ballooning daily, it is increasingly clear that new energies, and new resources, are urgently needed to address the world’s pressing social and environmental challenges.   Now a new book, Philanthropication thru Privatization: Building Permanent Endowments for the Common Good by Dr. Lester Salamon of the Johns Hopkins University and the East-West Management Institute, offers a novel solution to this increasingly urgent problem: capture all or a portion of the enormous privatization transactions under way around the world for autonomous charitable endowments serving the social and economic needs of citizens.   Far from an abstract idea, philanthropication thru privatization, or PtP, turns out to be a proven and effective approach for creating or enlarging charitable assets. But it has yet to be recognized as such: until now.   About Philanthropication thru Privatization  In this book, Salamon provides a first conceptualization of the PtP concept and then, working with an international team, documents over 500 foundations around the world that already embody it, including some of the largest and most...

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Philanthropication thru Privatization: A way to build charitable assets?

by Project Director Lester Salamon I had the good fortune to be called out by name recently by celebrated Economist Magazine columnist Matthew Bishop for having put together his “dream conference” combining his “two favorite themes: privatization and philanthrocapitalism.” The occasion for this comment was a conference hosted by the Volkswagen Foundation in Hanover, Germany on 13 September to review the results of an unlikely project I have carried out in cooperation with a superb team of colleagues. The aim is to explore the potential for capturing in charitable endowments at least some of the proceeds of the sales of state-owned enterprises or common-use resources now under way around the world — a phenomenon I have been calling “Philanthropication thru Privatization,” or “PtP” for short.   ABOUT THE CONFERENCE We have so far identified over 500 foundations that have emerged from such privatization transactions around the world, and the Hanover Conference was convened to review the exposure draft of a report on how this came about, what it has achieved, and what the prospects are for using this approach to build charitable endowments in other areas, particularly in the global South. A wide representation of foundation, civil society, government,...

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