More On For-Profit Philanthropy:
Let's Be "Thought Partners"

Last week, I wrote about whether a "for-profit" education philanthropy like the one Google announced might be able to do more things, more effectively, than the current crop of nonprofit foundations (Does School Reform Need A For-Profit Philanthropy?).

Most (all two) of you who wrote in thought it was a dumb idea. But this week, Lincoln Caplan (whom I happened to meet at a Spencer Foundation conference recently), reviews in Slate just where the notion of for-profit philanthropy fits in (apparently it's the logical extension of "venture philanthropy") and highlights some of the advantages -- and disadvantages -- a for-profit philanthropy would experience (Is Google.org the future of philanthropy? Slate). My favorite line:
"In the world of philanthropy, for instance, if you are getting to know someone and haven't yet figured out how she can serve your interests, but you want to keep her close, you call her your "thought partner." As a former journalist, I can't help noticing that the phrase's optimism runs ahead of its clarity."


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