Financialization of philanthropy

The case of social investment

Authored by: Ekkehard Thümler

The Routledge Companion to Philanthropy

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415783255
eBook ISBN: 9781315740324
Adobe ISBN: 9781317579717


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Until very recently, the markets were widely regarded as the paradigm of a rational organization of society (Friedland and Robertson, 1990). Just like other sectors of society, philanthropy has extensively integrated economic methods and values into its structures and operations. As a result, an organizational field that was traditionally based on the logic of gift giving increasingly rejects the idea of an unconditional distribution of goods and embraces the rationales, techniques and language of markets. This development, known as the ‘marketization’ of the third sector, is characterized by a heightened emphasis on competition and earned income, the celebration of (social) entrepreneurship and the emergence of new actors, such as for-profit providers and donors (Salamon, 1993; Weisbrod, 1998; Eikenberry and Kluver, 2004).

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