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Unpublished Paper
Re-Focusing on Philanthropy: Revising and Re-Orienting the Standard Model
ExpressO (2012)
  • Robert E. Atkinson, Jr., Florida State University

This paper undertakes a detailed analysis of today’s standard theory of the philanthropic sector, in order to provide a new model that is both more accurate in its details and more comprehensive in its scope. The standard theory accounts for the philanthropic sector as subordinate and supplementary to our capitalist market economy and liberal democratic polity. That approach has two basic short-comings: Its explanation of both the state and philanthropy as adjuncts to the market fails to appreciate the ways in which all three sectors support and supplement each other. Even more basically, the standard model’s primary focus on the market ignores how the demands that we make on both the state and the market ultimately derive from value systems the philanthropic sector not only gives us, but also shapes us to accept. From this perspective, the philanthropic sector functions, not as an adjunct to the state and the market, under their standards of consumer demand and majority preference, but rather as both their foundation and their metric.

  • philanthropy,
  • charity
Publication Date
February 23, 2012
Citation Information
Robert E. Atkinson. "Re-Focusing on Philanthropy: Revising and Re-Orienting the Standard Model" ExpressO (2012)
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