CGAP News

A History of Western Philanthropy

Nov 13, 2013 | Category: CGAP News
A History of Western Philanthropy: “historians of philanthropy need to think like geologists” Professor Hugh Cunningham ‘s important new addition to CGAPs series of occasional papers offers discussion and reflection on the strata or layers of philanthropic action, which have accumulated on top of each other within Western philanthropy. Emphasising that philanthropy history is not simply a history of giving, nor a history of giving by the rich, the paper suggests nine successive strata , which, cumulatively, shape the present. Taken together, they draw attention to the ways in which philanthropy is as much circular and repetitive as progressive and linear; that is, that “earlier strata keep re-surfacing.”

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