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New publication: "You've Been Framed"

I'm thrilled to share insights from my first academic publication "You've Been Framed": A critical review of academic discourse on philanthrocapitalism.

Written with Prof Tobias Jung and Dr Shona Russell, this paper reviews 186 academic publications on philanthrocapitalism - the application of business and market-based actors, methods, and motives to philanthropy. Across these, we identify and analyse three framing effects:

  1. philanthrocapitalists frame development challenges as scientific problems in need of scientific solutions

  2. philanthrocapitalists frame beneficiaries as productive entrepreneurs rather than helpless victims

  3. philanthrocapitalists frame philanthropy as an investment rather than a donation

These frames may attract more funding and resources to development challenges. However, by prioritising business needs and profit-making opportunities and without actively including beneficiaries in decision-making processes, philanthrocapitalists risk addressing assumed, rather than actual needs. Philanthrocapitalist interventions may be more 'innovative' than traditional funding sources but they risk intervening in ways inappropriate to beneficiaries' needs and circumstances, and neglecting important contextual differences.

Philanthrocapitalism - indeed, any form of philanthropy - cannot be effective unless beneficiaries are actively included in defining the needs to be addressed, and designing interventions to meet those needs. Any other approach would waste already limited philanthropic resources.

Read the full paper, published in the International Journal of Management Reviews, online available open access:

Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

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