Philanthropy is celebrated as a noble human act – and in Australia, it’s also growing, with nearly 1,400 new private foundations established in Australia since 2001. But while ‘big philanthropy’ is playing a more prominent role in seeking to address social and environmental challenges all around the world, some question the motives and methods of big philanthropy and so-called ‘philanthrocapitalism’ – the Gates and Zuckerbergs of this world.
So, what is the role of philanthropy? What are its responsibilities and limitations? How must they act in order to retain legitimacy – and justify tax breaks they receive? Should philanthropic foundations last forever, or should they ‘spend down’? And, most importantly, how can philanthropic foundations be a force for positive change?
As president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Stephen Heintz is one of the world’s preeminent experts in the art of philanthropy, and is uniquely placed to reveal how the Rockefellers are working to help eliminate the industry that secured their fortune – by making a surprising and profound shift away from oil and toward green investment. Join him as he discusses global trends in giving, and the differing roles of philanthropy in Australia and the US.
Presented in partnership with the United States Studies Centre and Philanthropy Australia.
Stephen Heintz is President of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Before joining the RBF, he held top leadership positions in both the nonprofit and public sectors. Most recently, he was founding president of Dēmos, a public policy research and advocacy organisation working to enhance the vitality of American democracy and promote more broadly shared prosperity.
Peter Mares is an independent writer and researcher. He is a contributing editor for online magazine Inside Story and a senior moderator with The Cranlana Programme. Peter was a broadcaster with the ABC for twenty-five years, serving as a foreign correspondent based in Hanoi and presenting national radio programs. His latest book is Not Quite Australian: How Temporary Migration Is Changing the Nation.
Presented in partnership with