I babbled about philanthropy in an earlier posting called “Wealth now, philanthropy later”, so I was thrilled to see this blog posting on the Harvard Business Review website:
Try to ignore the hyperbolic title of the article and absorb the content.
Making the world a better place means making decisions your whole life that either incrementally or substantially makes people’s lives better. People dislike hearing that investing in a promising new company could potentially impact the world more than the more common charitable action of, say, donating food to starving children.
However, suppose your conscious investments create jobs for people who are treated kindly and with respect, and something is also created that benefits your company’s customers. In that case, it can have a huge multiplier effect.
This all fits nicely with the concept of Slow Money. There are undoubtedly wealthy people that have made their money in ways that cause suffering to people and give nothing back to the world other than charity-by-guilt or by giving to causes that exacerbate problems rather than solving them.
However, I believe there are many more that quietly have a profound impact on the world by taking risks that amplify the potential positive results.