Philanthropy has positive economic consequences

American philanthropy has provided many people with educational and economic opportunities that they would not otherwise have had, according to Claire Gaudani, in her new book, "The Greater Good - How Philanthropy Drives the American Economy and Can Save Capitalism."

In the first half of her book, she makes a convincing case that American generosity is not just a product of the nation's wealth, but also contributes significantly to building it:

  • Donations from Americans have helped build hospitals, housing and cultural centers.

  • The Guggenheim family's philanthropy helped advance aviation and rocketry through funding professional schools and inventors such as Robert Goddard.

  • Philanthropy has helped Americans from different backgrounds gain access to education and health care and services, enabling the poor to participate in the economy.

    Gaudani notes that the increase in giving has kept up with the growth in personal incomes, especially in the 1990s.

    Source: Leslie Lenkowsky, Giving It All Away – Philanthropy and Its Discontents, The Weekly Standard, March 1, 2004. Based on Claire Gaudani, The Greater Good – How Philanthropy Drives the American Economy and Can Save Capitalism, Henry Holt & Company, Incorporated, September 10, 2003.

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    FMF Policy Bulletin\16 March 2004

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