Though imperfect and not without risks, we are better off with philanthropy than without it. Philanthropy is not undemocratic; extreme inequality is undemocratic.
Working as a program officer at a private foundation can be a surprisingly lonely endeavor. But it doesn’t have to be.
Somewhere between government, commerce and religion, philanthropy has emerged as an influential, global force. It increasingly shapes our policies, values, research agendas, business practices, and — more subtlety — the way we see the world. It’s time that we think critically about philanthropy and its role in society with the same rigor that we study the public and private sectors.