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Activating Philanthropic Capital


Despite the United States’ distinctive ethos of philanthropy (shaped strongly by Christianity), the emergence of The Giving Pledge, and the proliferation of enormous charitable foundations, Americans still give an average of just around 2% of GDP to charitable causes. To be sure, a variety of factors contribute to this stagnation: media-driven visions of the good life, Mammon’s hold on our hearts, and doubts about tax-exempt organizations’ ability to make a real difference. Even in an era where organizations like charity:water and social giving platforms have brought sophisticated marketing to major causes, Americans rarely demonstrate anything close to genuinely sacrificial giving.

We are interested in ventures thinking creatively about reducing “generosity friction” in people’s hearts, minds, and wallets. Not only will this help particular causes, it could also transform the spirit of the age: as the saying goes, “you’ve never met an angry, bitter, generous person.”

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