In the Spring 2019 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review there is a segment on making “Big Bets.” Unleashing Big Bets for Social Change focuses on how harnessing the nearly $9Trillion of worldwide private wealth can transform the face of our communities. The conundrum of Big Bet philanthropy is that the size of the gift tends to overshadow the issue that is being addressed, and because it is philanthropy, the level of scrutiny may be perceived to be less rigorous compared to traditional investing where there is an expectation of more than just a social return.

“... big bets have played a pivotal role in propelling major social advances, from eliminating age-old infectious diseases to securing civil rights for repressed populations. Yet, looking at the gifts of all US donors to causes anywhere in the world, the large majority of major gifts still go to universities, medical research, or cultural institutions. While these gifts strengthen important pillars of a vibrant and educated society and advance scientific frontiers, few of these institutional gifts are focused on poverty, justice, or other social change goals—causes that major donors say are the dominant motivation for their philanthropy.”
money globe
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