“Philanthropy is both timeless and timely. Ancient Romans, Medieval aristocrats, and Victorian industrialists engaged in philanthropy, as do modern-day Chinese billionaires, South African activists, and Brazilian nuns. Today, philanthropic practice is evolving faster than ever before, with donors giving their time, talents, and social capital in creative new ways and in combination with their financial resources. These developments are generating complex new debates and adding new twists to enduring questions, from “why be philanthropic?” to “what does it mean to do philanthropy ‘better’?” Addressing such questions requires greater understanding of the contested purpose and diverse practice of philanthropy.
With an international and interdisciplinary focus, The Philanthropy Reader serves as a one-stop resource that brings together essential and engaging extracts from key texts and major thinkers, and frames these in a way that captures the historical development, core concepts, perennial debates, global reach, and recent trends of this field. The book includes almost 100 seminal and illuminating writings about philanthropy, equipping readers with the guiding material they need to better grasp such a crucial yet complex and evolving topic. Additional readings and discussion questions also accompany the text as online supplements.”