May 19, 2020
In episode 76 we talk to global philanthropy expert Kris
Putnam-Walkerly about her new book “Delusional Altruism”, and about
how philanthropists and funders are being affected by - and
responding to - the COVID-19 pandemic. Including:
- What is “delusional altruism”?
- Why does a scarcity mind-set affect so many donors and funders?
Is this particular to philanthropy?
- Why is the “overhead myth” so prevalent, and why is it so
- Are there signs that funders are changing their behaviour
during the current crisis? (Moving to unrestricted funding,
trust-based grantmaking etc.) Is this likely to lead to longer-term
- How many donors are willing to give away power as well as
money? (And will the current crisis put even more focus on
approaches such as participatory grantmaking?)
- Do we need to redefine what is perceived as “failure” in
- How many donors see funding advocacy as a course of action,
rather than direct services? If it is less common, why is
- How can we balance the imperative to respond to short-term
needs in a crisis with ensuring that philanthropy makes the most of
its strengths in taking a longer-term view? What does this mean for
current debates on spending down endowments?
- How should we rate philanthropy’s response to the current
- Will anything fundamentally change as a result of what we are
going through? If so, what?