In this episode we take a deep dive into an issue that has been generating a lot of debate recently: is pluralism in philanthropy a good thing, or not?
- What has caused the latest furore, and what has the reaction been?
- Is philanthropic freedom genuinely under threat, and if so why? Or is this just a straw man?
- Should donors and foundations be free to “engage in the unfettered pursuit of their own mission, interests and prerogatives”, or are there arguments for constraining this freedom?
- Is there an inherent tension in philanthropy between individual liberty and systemic equity? How can we balance these competing demands?
- Should we value pluralism because it enables diversity of thought and values, and provides the material for a healthy “battle of ideas” that can strengthen democracy?
- Is pluralism a necessary part of allowing marginalised groups and communities to overcome the “tyranny of the majority” and drive social change?
- Is accepting that civil society will contain things we may not like or agree with the necessary cost of pluralism? Is this a price worth paying?
- Is pluralism a noble idea in theory but naive in practice, when in reality power is skewed towards defence of the status quo and vested interests?
- Can everyday giving help to produce a form of pluralism that avoids some of the problems that come when we rely on elite philanthropy?
- Do we need to constrain pluralism, and if so how?
- To what extent is this a US-specific debate?
- Do nonprofits need to be “civil” or “polite” when they disagree? Or does this ignore the historical reality of social change?
- The letter to the Chronicle of Philanthropy that has sparked this debate, “We Disagree on Many Things, but We Speak With One Voice in Support of Philanthropic Pluralism“
- Vu Le, “Philanthropy’s equivalent of “All Lives Matter””
- Edgar Villanueva, “Debunking the Myth of Philanthropic Pluralism“
- Phil Buchanan, “Who Is Threatening ‘Philanthropic Freedom?’”
- Philip Rojc, “The End of Philanthropic History and that Pluralism Op-Ed“
- Philanthropisms podcast with Edgar Villanueva
- Philanthropisms podcast with Emma Saunders-Hastings
- Why Philanthropy Matters article, “Voluntary Woke? Philanthropy, Civil Society & The Culture Wars“
- Rhod’s article for Beacon Collaborative, “Can we agree to disagree when it comes to philanthropy?“
- Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell verdict in “Bob Jones University vs United States”
- JS Mill, “Endowments“