Given the failure of the state, continuing deep levels of poverty, unemployment and inequality, the act of giving by business, and wealthy and skilled individuals can make important contributions to solving our pressing problems. Philanthropy could be divided into three basic forms: giving by companies, wealthy individuals and ordinary citizens. In many emerging democracies and markets such as South Africa, corporates and rich individuals, may sometimes have acquired their riches on the back of exploitation of the poor, through state capture and even corruption.
Philanthropy can lead to greater social solidarity between the well-off and the poor, trigger positive social change, and overall make citizens more resilient in the face of state collapse. The act of giving can be described as a form of active citizenship.
When Jean Tirole won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Economics, he suddenly found himself being stopped in the street by complete strangers and asked to comment on issues of the day. His transformation from academic economist to public intellectual prompted him to reflect on the role economists and their discipline play in society. The result is Economics for the Common Good, a passionate manifesto for a world in which economics is a positive force for the common good.
Watch his talk at the London School of Economics
A recent personal donation of R1bn is just the beginning of an even bigger dream PSG founder Jannie Mouton has for his philanthropically orientated Jannie Mouton Foundation. "I have a huge dream to increase the foundation by donating more and more of my PSG shares to it. I have donated R1bn now, but in years to come I want to increase that amount substantially," Mouton told Fin24.
Asked why he did not - like Buffet - just donate money to the Gates Foundation, Mouton said he would rather focus on needs in South Africa. "I want to create something in South Africa. I see a need in South Africa," said Mouton. "My family and I think education is very important and that could be the basis of the foundation. There are a lot of disadvantaged people and education can play a big role in years to come," he explained.
A recent study showed that generosity changed the activity in people’s brains in ways that increase feelings of happiness, even if the generous act is small or only imagined. In effect, the pledge to be generous primed people to be more giving. There are probably evolutionary undercurrents to this process, says Thorsten Kahnt. Though the experiment lasted only a short time and involved only simulated gains and losses, Kahnt says that “it does show a mechanistic linkage in the brain between doing something nice for someone and feeling better about yourself.”
Through her South Africa-based Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, in its 10th year, the media mogul and self-made billionaire is developing leaders positioned to play a key role in Africa. In this exclusive interview with FORBES WOMAN AFRICA, Oprah Winfrey talks about where it all started – in Mandela’s home where she spent 10 days and shared 29 meals with the statesman and pledged to build a school for girls and invest in the people of South Africa.
South African high earners gave away a combined R7 billion in cash, goods and services to charities last year, according to Nedbank’s The Giving Report released yesterday. The report analysed giving behaviours, patterns and trends of high-net-worth (HNV) South Africans.
Nedbank surveyed 400 HNV individuals, individuals who earned at least R1.5 million a year or own investable assets of more than R5 million, excluding primary residence. About 63 percent of the respondents’ total net worth was in the range of R5m to R10m, while 19 percent of them were worth R10m to R20m and 7 percent were worth R20m to R50m.
A number of leaders in philanthropy were asked to answer the following questions: How does a 21st-century philanthropy contend with the economic system that both produces its conditions of possibility and makes its lofty aspirations necessary? Should it address the structural inequality of which it is a symptom—and if so, how?