Philanthropy is both universal and personal, and develops, not merely in response to failures on the part of government or the market but also inspired by certain values through “enlightened” self-interest.
Philanthropy can introduce dynamism into social systems and can provide a response to social issues at a number of levels: individual, sectoral, or societal.
The growing role of philanthropy in our society also brings us questions. To what extent are private parties – philanthropists – prepared and able to take care of public interests? And are the instruments that the government currently applies – for example agreements, partnerships, and contracts – in fact suitable for structuring the relationship between government and philanthropy? Are they not at odds with voluntariness, one of the characteristic features of philanthropy? Can philanthropy also act contrary to government policy? What – unintended – effects can philanthropy have within our society, and how will the government respond to those effects?
With its project on The Dynamic Role of Philanthropy in Society , the Council aims to develop an overall view of the delicate interplay between government and philanthropy, and of the options for shaping that interplay in such a way that they are sustainable in the long term.