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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