What Does the Public Want Philanthropy to Fund?

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In Brunswick’s first global survey of public views on philanthropy, conducted across eight (developed and less developed country) markets, respondents chose health as their biggest priority to be funded—followed by education, disaster relief, climate change and economic growth. Among its additional points, the report found that philanthropists’ contributions are seen as less effective than CSOs. It also found the following.

1. Philanthropy is seen as positive force across the world, with the most positive perceptions in low- and middle-income countries.
2. The most widespread critique of philanthropy is donors’ lack of understanding of cultures outside their own—remedied through partnerships with local organizations and leaders.
3. The strongest support for philanthropy is in its ability to fund complex and innovative ways to solve critical problems; solutions that are tied to the universal priorities of health and education best demonstrate the benefits of giving.
4. More than one out of five people have no view on philanthropy’s effectiveness, presenting a communications opportunity for donors.

Respondents with a positive view of philanthropy believed that philanthropists can afford to make such donations, thereby contributing to society, aiding others and nonprofits (despite the motive of tax avoidance) and that their funding can help address poverty, inequality and crime, as well as uplift the poor, provide sustenance and improve their quality of life.


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