The New Science of Giving

The New Science of Giving

A young Houston couple is planning to give away $4 billion—but only to projects that prove they are worth it. Can they redefine the world of philanthropy?

The Wall Street Journal just posted an eyeopening article about The New Science of Giving. This is definitely a must-read because it´s like an earlier article (The way we think about charity is dead wrong) groundbreaking in charity, giving, donating …

Once people will see that it´s not only about holding out one´s hand when it comes to social projects but about being sustainable, being professional, they actually CAN “change the world” – or at least be more effective.

Most billionaires tend to write checks to good causes they’re part of, hospitals where they were treated or universities they attended. These are the so-called “grateful-recipient” donors. Or there are donors who make sizable gifts to meet an obvious need in a community, such as hunger or education. But at a time when charitable giving in the U.S. is still down from its peak in 2007, the Arnolds want to try something new and somewhat grander. John says the goal is to make “transformational” changes to society.

The man behind this project is John Arnold – 39 years old, so called wunderkind natural-gas trader at Enron who later founded his own hedge fund. Pretty unknown outside his hometown, Houston, he made more than $4 billion within the last decade.

John Arnold is now one of the youngest and most successful philanthropists.

To make it short: He wants to give his money to a project which is worth it. Instead of being like one of his so called “grateful-recipient” donors or a donor who just tries to fix a problem or need short term, he wants to get the proof that he donates his money to the right persons/project. When he is sure that the best people work on a sustainable and changing project, he is ready to donate a fortune. For the whole story and Arnold´s success story take a look at the Wall Street Journal article – worth reading.

My opinion is that this procedure can´t work anytime and anywhere BUT the world need more people like Arnold. His way of thinking can create way more sustainable and professional projects and with them come the great changes.

The world doesn´t need some feeding hand – here and there. (Most) problems can get fixed by great changes, not by donating and deffering.

Laura and John ArnoldArnold´s theory combined with Dan Pallotta´s (The way we think about charity is dead wrong) is great stuff to discuss about. Who will be more effective? The project working obsessively nonprofit with some donors here and there or a project with a professional model making money to reinvest in their efforts, getting specialists in its team and growing with the needs.

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