New frontiers of philanthropy

This article was originally published on the Latest from Alliance blog on 13 October 2014. The original article can be found here. For more information about Alliance magazine, please visit

With the resources of both governments and traditional philanthropy barely growing or in decline, while the problems of poverty, ill-health and environmental degradation balloon daily, it is increasingly clear that new models for financing and promoting social and environmental objectives are urgently needed.

Two new books from Lester Salamon, director of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies, examine a significant revolution under way in social- and environmental-purpose financing, at the heart of which lies a massive explosion in the instruments and institutions being deployed to mobilize private resources. Where earlier such support was limited to charitable gifts, a bewildering array of new instruments and institutions has surfaced – loans, loan guarantees, private equity, barter arrangements, social stock exchanges, bonds, secondary markets, investment funds, and many more – all of them designed to leverage not just philanthropic grants but a much larger pool of private investment capital.

While these changes are inspiring, they remain largely uncharted in any systematic fashion. Released by Oxford University Press, New Frontiers of Philanthropy: A guide to the new tools and new actors that are reshaping global philanthropy and social investing, and Leverage for Good, which carries the introductory chapter of the larger New Frontiers volume, are designed to provide the first comprehensible and accessible roadmap to the full range of these important new developments on the frontiers of philanthropy and social investment.

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