How to Improve the World Through Philanthropy
Philanthropy itself offers many positives, including being the ability to serve the greater society, create global change and improve our overall quality of life. However, the business side of philanthropy can also be greatly rewarding, once an understanding is reached about how to take advantage of current systems to optimize the business behind charity, therefore extending influence. Track Two Podcast cohosts Sarah Gerber and Joanne Gouaux’s conversations with their esteemed guests cover these topics and provide a general framework through their own stories. Each person has created a career out of their philanthropic passions. They’ve found their success in unique ways and are part of the movement toward improving our world.
‘The Business Behind Philanthropy’ With Will Fitzpatrick
In this episode, Gerber and Gouaux talk to Will Fitzpatrick, a lawyer, criminal reform activist and technology innovator. Although Fitzpatrick’s original goal was not philanthropy, he is now well-known for his charitable actions and the communities in which he has helped improve quality of life. His shift to philanthropy as a job began with meeting eBay founder Pierre Omidyar while working at Omidyar Networks. Omidyar opened Fitzpatrick’s eyes to the methods for efficient and successful charitable solutions. Fitzpatrick speaks to the idea of investing in people who he believes have the ability to create impactful change, rather than presenting grants or using other less personal methods. This system allows for independence and trust in the communities and the catalyzing forces they are investing in. All too often, “humanitarians” throw money at problems and attempt to restructure a community how they see would be most beneficial, but Fitzpatrick’s ideology is about providing the infrastructure so that those already in the community can allow their goals to be more seamlessly realized.
“Philanthropy Through Public Policy” With Sarah Berger Gonzales
Sarah Berger Gonzales is a social and financial innovator. Using her expertise in cash transfers, she finds creative improvements for disadvantaged communities, specifically in Latin America, Europe and Central Asia. Berger Gonzales currently works as the program manager at the Basic Income Lab at Stanford University but used to serve as the social protection specialist at the World Bank.
Initially, Berger Gonzales imagined herself as a lawyer, thinking she could make the biggest impact through legislation or, as she says, “I felt like this was my pathway because I did feel that if the laws were correct, then everything else would just follow.” However, when she did her Fulbright Scholarship in Chile, she saw the gaps between the reality of how people were living and the influence of legal protection. Instead, Berger Gonzales went into public policy and started working at the World Bank, where she developed and managed income support programs to better combat poverty. It goes to show the different careers where philanthropy can be realized and how creativity within your role can maximize positive change.
‘Possibilities Within Philanthropy’ With Rachel D. Latimore
Gerber and Gouaux’s conversation with Rachel D. Latimore centers around her philanthropic journey and how she was able to create a flourishing career out of it. Latimore is the manager of the Global Fellow Community Leadership Programs at Echoing Green, a social innovation fund built to support emerging social leaders and create positive global change. Latimore talks about personal agency, the different roles within philanthropy, asset building and answers questions about to how to serve communities, both when you identify with them and when you don’t. Her work with Echoing Green has given her a wide range of experiences and made her realize that “it’s about the opportunity to understand how you can contribute, how you can advocate, how you can lead [and] how you can follow.” Latimore talks about the beautiful spectrum that is philanthropy and volunteerism; there is more to it than the leaders at the top.