This book examines the evolving dynamics driving philanthropy as Western society struggles to meet today's many challenges. The author takes a hard look at the sensitive issues of democratic legitimacy, accountability and credibility in the context of civil society, as well as the changing policy environment in which foundations operate. He argues that effective philanthropy is 'impact driven' and depends on a strategic mix of methodologies that reach beyond grant-giving. The arguments challenge the status quo and deliver a wake up call to philanthropists on both sides of the Atlantic. The book intends to spark an ongoing debate as the sector strives to strengthen its relevance and make a real difference in a world that is becoming more complex than ever before. About 80% to 90% of existing literature is from the Anglo-Saxon perspective and written by academics. This book represents a uniquely European perspective from a practitioner with more than 20 years experience in the field. Because of foundations' hefty - and growing - financial endowment, the questions of value creation, democratic legitimacy, intergenerational transfer of wealth, the payout rate and accountability are being debated. The author offers a European perspective on these issues. A new and dynamic philanthropy is emerging as foundations take on new roles in communities. These roles are examined within the context of different civil society models. A new role is emerging - that of convenor, or 'catalytic converter', which brings various stakeholders together around a particular issue and then advocates for political and/or social change. The author ultimately argues for 'impact driven' philanthropy and gives practical examples of how to get there. Challenges in our globalized world require both local and global solutions. The author urges European foundations to become more European and address the myriad challenges facing a reintegrated continent. He also urges them to assume a stronger leadership role on global issues such as HIV/AIDs, poverty, ethical challenges and drug policy.
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