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Teddy Schleifer: Reporting on Big Money Philanthropy

In this episode we talk to Teddy Schleifer, Senior Reporter at Puck News, about what is going on in big money philanthropy in the US, and the challenges of reporting on philanthropy. Including.

  • Why is it important to have journalists focussing on philanthropy?
  • Does the trend towards independent media outlets (substacks, specialist outlets etc) make it easier to report on elite philanthropy, or harder?
  • How do you balance focussing on the individual stories of philanthropists vs systemic issues about philanthropy as a whole?
  • How hard is it to penetrate the world of the super-rich?
  • What are the most interesting/encouraging things about Mackenzie Scott’s emergence as a major philanthropist?
  • What are the main questions that still need answering?
  • What should we make of Melinda French Gates’s increasing desire to distance her philanthropy from that of her ex-husband, Bill Gates? 
  • Is Elon Musk actually serious about philanthropy? What do we know so far about what kind of philanthropy he might do?
  • If he brings his existing online persona to his philanthropy, what is that going to mean for philanthropic discourse overall?
  • How have the last few years and the evolution of Facebook into Meta affected Zuckerberg’s philanthropy?
  • Who are the big Silicon Valley donors that most of us haven’t even heard of? What are they into?
  • How seriously should we be taking crypto wealth?
  • Is cryptophilanthropy any different to traditional philanthropy (other than being done using crypto?) If so, how?
  • Why are so many Silicon Valley donors into Effective Altruism? Given the likely profile of billionaire wealth in coming years, is EA going to become a bigger part of philanthropy overall?

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Learn from our past to better understand our future.

Philanthropy has a long and varied history. We’ve created bite-size chapters that you can jump in and out of to better understand philanthropy.