Tuesday, September 19, 2006

For-profit philanthropy (Tierney column)

A John Tierney op-ed ("Capitalism with a Heart," 9/16/06) commented on trends in corporate philanthropy. A doing-well-by-doing-good philosophy is emerging, led by John Mackey, co-founder of Whole Foods. This movement rejects the businessperson's rationale of doing philanthropy in order to buy public good will. Instead, they want corporations to do more than enrich shareholders, they want them to improve the health and well-being of everyone on the planet.

This idea is being put into practice at Google.org, which has $1 billion in seed money and is set up as a for-profit organization. Tierney was skeptical about Google.org's potential for reaching goals, such as developing a car that gets 100 miles per gallon.

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