Jan 21, 2020
In episode 64, we explore the
philanthropic response to the ongoing bushfires in Australia and
what it highlights about philanthropy issues and trends. We also
give take a look at some of the other top philanthropy stories in
The Aussie Bushfires:
- How does the philanthropic response to the Aussie bushfires
compare to the Notre Dame Cathedral fire last year?
- Does it tell us anything about the differences between our
response to man-made vs natural disasters, or disasters affecting
man-made heritage vs natural heritage?
- Does the fact that the Aussie bushfires are highly dispersed
make a difference?
- Are environmental issues less likely to be perceived as
“elite”, and thus philanthropy focused on them less likely to be
criticised as “self-interested”?
- Is the response to the bushfires partly about people feeling a
sense of agency over the issue of climate change, which often seems
so huge that it can cause donation paralysis?
- Does the fact that animals as well as humans have been affected
make a difference?
- Has the ongoing nature of the fires helped to make the relief
effort itself a focus of philanthropy?
- What questions does the voluntary nature of the firefighting
services some raise about state responsibility vs that of
- Has the response of elite philanthropists been slower than in
the Notre Dame case? If so, why?
- Could the fact that many Aussie philanthropists have made their
money in extractive industries play a part in making them reticent
to engage with a problem that is clearly being linked to climate
- Celeste Barber’s Facebook fundraiser: what does her runaway
success tell us about the distributed nature of fundraising in the
future? What challenges does it highlight?
- Other fundraising efforts: “The Nude Philanthropist” and
altruistic drug dealers…
In other news:
- MIT releases damning report into Jeffrey Epstein links- not
good for the institution
- Is there a “war on philanthropy”? Karl Zinnsmeister’s op ed for
the Wall Street Journal, and the ongoing debate in the US.
- Columbia Journalism Review article on challenges with
philanthropic funding skewing the priorities of non-profit news
- Harry & Meghan: stepping away from royal duty to focus on
other things, in which philanthropy likely to play large role. Does
this raise potentially interesting questions about the nature of
inherited vs created wealth, ownership/stewardship, and the role of
philanthropy vs being a public figure.
In other News: