Perspective

Why don’t we make big bets on nonprofits?

One of the Giving Pledge philanthropists and co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, recently died. But at his death he was worth more than he was when he signed the Giving Pledge.

Now, 186 of the wealthiest philanthropists in the world signed this pledge as a vow to give away half of their net worth before they die.

This inspired Alana Semuels, writing in The Atlantic, to ask whether the Giving Pledge is realistic. When Allen signed the Pledge in 2010 he was worth $13.5 billion, when he died he was worth $20 billion. So, despite the fact that he made many large donations to nonprofits during that time, he dramatically failed to meet his pledge.

Semuels points out the growing inequality of our economic system, in which someone like Paul Allen (or any of the Giving Pledge philanthropists) can accumulate so much wealth, while the nonprofits that are trying to address the issues of the remaining 99 percent are struggling to get byBut is it possible that the vast majority of nonprofits simply couldn’t absorb the amount of money that Giving Pledges warrant?

Read the full story at Social Velocity. 
Read the sequel to this article.
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