In today’s Britain, where the welfare state uses tax to meet our basic needs and we can buy what we want, does philanthropy still have a role, and if so, what is it?
More importantly, how can we ensure that it is an effective force for good?
This book aims to answer these questions. It tells the story of philanthropy through the ages, the relationship between philanthropists, the state and society, and throws light on the successes – and sometimes spectacular failures – of great philanthropists from the past.
Above all, it shows how the lessons learned from generations of philanthropists and the good, bad or plain ugly results of their well-meaning endeavors suggest principles that should guide public policy on philanthropy to help us overcome some of the most complex and deeply entrenched challenges facing our society.