Tom Watson on Philanthropy and Government

Tom Watson, a lecturer for the Master of Science in Fundraising Management recently wrote a piece for The Chronicle of Philanthropy. He writes that the current political atmosphere mirrors the debate between plutocracy and democracy in the philanthropic sphere. However, there are recent examples of donors being held accountable to the public, including the Gates Foundation, which has the ability to affect government change:

“Perhaps most important, Bill and Melinda Gates can command the attention of governments. I was particularly taken with this note in the section of their letter on environmental funding and climate change:
‘Governments have a big role to play in sparking new advances, as they have for other scientific research. U.S. government funding was behind breakthrough cancer treatments and the moon landing. If you’re reading this online, you have the government to thank for that, too. Research paid for by the U.S. government helped create the Internet.’”

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