In our CONVOCO! Podcast Corinne M. Flick speaks with Helmut K. Anheier, Professor of Sociology at the Hertie School, where he served as President until 2018, about:
What is the Role of Philanthropy Today?
Here’s what he said:
Whenever we have a government failure, the role of philanthropy is critical. The big problems that we have today usually come about because governments failed.
There are many areas where we have communities underserved and neglected. Foundations can play a very vital role here.
Most foundations are rather small […] They don’t play the big national political game. They’re not involved internationally. They are grounded in a local civil society.
100.000 Euros put into a small foundation to support a local cause is part of the glue that keeps local communities together. And it connects the local elite with the population.
It’s the failure of member states to live up to their commitments that creates a need for philanthropic funds in the UN system. It’s a tragedy that it takes private initiatives to uphold organizations.
We should not think that much about public regulation, but more about self-regulation of the philanthropic field so that it becomes part of the self-understanding.