Philanthropy’s New Agenda

Creating Value

Michael E. Porter

Mark R. Kramer

DURING THE PAST TWO DECADES, the number of charitable foundations in the United States has doubled, while the value of their assets has increased more than 1,100%. Foundations now hold over $330 billion in assets and contribute over $20 billion annually to educational, humanitarian, and cultural organizations of all kinds. No other country in the world can claim such substantial and widespread commitment to philanthropy and volunteerism. But are we, as a society, realizing the full fruits of this commitment?

Grant-giving foundations are intermediaries between the individual donors who fund them and the various social enterprises that they, in turn, support. ...

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