Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bono, Bill Gates, and How "Philanthrocapitalists" Are Trying to Save the World

One of the most original books I've published in the past year is Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World, by Michael Green and Matthew Bishop. "Philanthrocapitalism" is a term coined by Bishop, who writes for The Economist, to describe the new-model approach to charity of many of today's super-rich.

Most of them--like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, or Michael Bloomberg--come from a business background, and while they're prepared to give their money away, they want to get the maximal bang for their charitable bucks. Others, like Bono or Oprah Winfrey, are celebrities who are deploying their fame as well as their money--but they too understand the concept of leverage. All together, this class of megadonors is truly changing the world. Not only because their money is making a difference, but because their strategies and tools are making many organizations more savvy and effective. So the book has something to say to anyone interested in social entrepreneurship, NGOs, or volunteerism.

Bishop and Green have recently launched a very lively website with lots of information on this topic, and one-one-one interviews with figures such as Bill Gates. Worth a visit if you are involved in charity, volunteering, or you are trying to figure out with to do with a spare billion.