Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary-General from 1997 to 2006, took to LinkedIn to discuss his thoughts on the modern philanthropist. Its resurgence, he he said, “has been a major change for good,” especially the work of Bill Gates.
But how has this happened? “We have entered a new age of philanthropy and the sick, the poor and the vulnerable of our world are benefiting,” he wrote. “Progress is being made on some of our world’s most intractable problems and modern philanthropy has played a significant role in these successes.”
The philanthropists of today, he adds, are focused on being efficient and obtaining results. “They also bring a deep understanding of the need to build the widest possible partnerships with governments, international agencies, civil society and the private sector,” added Annan, who currently runs the Kofi Annan Foundation. “Despite fears from some NGOs and multilaterals about their involvement and influence, modern philanthropists rarely operate in isolation but recognise the importance of collaboration.”
Charitable giving is also becoming a global phenomenon and not controlled by individuals such as Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller and Alfred Nobel. “As the economies of Asia, Latin America and Africa have grown, so has the determination of its business leaders to use their wealth for the greater good,” he said.
On Monday, Warren Buffett made a $2.8 billion donation of Berkshire Hathaway A stock to several charities including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.