Summary of The Philanthropy Hustle

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In this succinct, compelling discussion of the current state of philanthropy, sociologist Linsey McGoey highlights a little-known fact: At unprecedented rates, philanthropic organizations are donating money to for-profit corporations. With the majority of charitable funds going to nonprofits, McGoey asks if it matters. She believes so, because the actions of philanthropic giants, such as the Gates Foundation, set a precedent. getAbstract recommends McGoey’s insights to those working in both the private sector and the nonprofit and voluntary sector.

About the Author

Linsey McGoey is a senior lecturer in the department of sociology at the University of Essex. She was an adviser to the World Health Organization and the European Neuroscience and Society Network.



The Gates Foundation – worth $42 billion – is one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world. In 2013, it donated $300 million to the World Health Organization (WHO). The money came with its own price tag: The foundation’s staff members are “unofficially” the first to review new WHO policies. This courtesy raises serious questions about how much influence a few individuals could have over global policies and reforms.

In the past, corporations donated to charities, but today, corporations are the ones receiving charitable support. For example, since 2014, MasterCard...

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