Philanthropy is Changing!

Philanthropy is Changing!

As the Millennium Development Goal 2015 deadline approaches we are constantly faced with the question of “what’s next?” Countless countries will not meet the eight goals set forth by the United Nations to increase equality, health services, and education among other social problems.  When the MDG’s were first proposed both government and NGO’s implemented programs to increase services. While there have been countless successes, there remain many issues that need to be addressed. In answering the “what’s next” query many organizations today have shifted their focus to hybridization, institutionalizing the best practices of each of the public and private sectors, and are being referred to as private enterprises.

A private enterprise is defined as “an organization that applies business-like structures and practices to produce social as opposed to private returns.” [McInererny, 162] The greatest opportunity that a private or social enterprise presents is the transnational leveraging and transferring of ideas.  Social Enterprises can essentially bridge gaps and facilitate progress between existing public organizations, private businesses, subsidiaries, donors, and the communities and individuals receiving services. Philanthropy is changing!  Traditional Non-Governmental Organizations that work solely in the public sector are decreasing in number as a new model of non-profit work replaces the old. Simultaneously, traditional for-profit ventures are changing to incorporate the ideology of non-profits and the data driven business model of the private sector.

Public- private partnerships and the opportunities that private enterprises possess are one aspect that will be discussed during the World NGO conference this week in Helsinki, Finland.  Interestingly, many applications received for the 2013 Children’s Prize were at the nexus between public and private sectors. This social enterprise framework is representative of organizations that are driving social innovation worldwide. As NGOs and social enterprises, we’d like to celebrate some of our applicants for their immense effort in saving the lives of children under five. Happy World NGO Day!


Maternova Research

”We differ from many non-profit and aid groups in that we do not choose countries and set up programs. Rather we research and promote life-saving products that have already been developed and proven; we break down barriers to accessing those products for clinics already in operation in remote, areas with high child mortality. Our project, Small Clinics: Big Impact will leverage our network, research, social media reach and expertise on disseminating low-cost innovations for global health. We will link a network of small maternity and primary care clinics across and within countries motivated to introduce a set of life-saving interventions where the government health systems are not functional. We interface with dozens of these clinics literally ‘holding up’ the populations they serve.”

International Fund for Africa

“The International Fund for Africa was created in the belief that biodiversity is essential for human life and maintaining and expanding biodiversity are crucial for sustaining human cultural diversity, cultural wealth being intimately interwoven with environments rich in life forms. We believe our human health, our treatment of each other and nonhuman animals, our relationships to Earth’s ecosystems and biosphere, our protection, management, and distribution of Earth’s wealth, and human relationships in a global community and economy are all directly connected to our fundamental attitudes about ourselves and how we fit in the natural world.

ICAP at Columbia University

“Strong Start is focused on enhancing the availability and quality of—and increasing demand for and access to—maternal and neonatal services. Most births in the target regions occur at home, along with the associated risks to both mothers and babies.”


“Embrace’s mission is to advance maternal and child health by delivering innovative solutions to the world’s most vulnerable populations. We do this by catalyzing the creation of new products with strong potential to improve health outcomes in developing countries, and then working to get those products directly to the people who need them most. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that every woman and child has an equal chance for a healthy life.”

East Meets West

“East Meets West delivers innovative solutions to difficult development problems faced by poor families and communities in Asia and Africa. Our core program work is in the areas of education, healthcare, clean water and sanitation, and infrastructure and reflects our commitment to removing the barriers that prevent people from enjoying life’s fullest opportunities. Nearly six million individuals have benefited from these high-impact, sustainable, cost-efficient programs.”

CURE International

“CURE is a network of charitable hospitals and surgical programs that delivers life-changing medical care and the good news of God’s love to children and families with treatable conditions. Since 1998, our hospitals and programs in 29 countries around the world have seen over 2.1 million patients, performed over 150,000 surgeries, and trained over 6,600 medical professionals.”

Catholic Relief Services The Gambia Program

“Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We are motivated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ to cherish, preserve and uphold the sacredness and dignity of all human life, foster charity and justice, and embody Catholic social and moral teaching as we act to: Promote human development by responding to major emergencies, fighting disease and poverty, and nurturing peaceful and just societies; and, serve Catholics in the United States as they live their faith in solidarity with their brothers and sisters around the world. As part of the universal mission of the Catholic Church, we work with local, national and international Catholic institutions and structures, as well as other organizations, to assist people on the basis of need, not creed, race or nationality.”

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

“MSF is an independent, international medical relief organization aiding victims of armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters, and social marginalization. Each year, MSF doctors, nurses, logisticians, water-and-sanitation experts, administrators, and other medical and non-medical professionals depart on more than 3,800 aid missions. They work alongside more than 22,500 locally hired staff to provide medical care in more than 60 countries. In emergencies and their aftermath, MSF provides health care, rehabilitates and runs hospitals and clinics, performs surgery, battles epidemics, carries out vaccination campaigns, operates feeding centers for malnourished children, and offers mental health care. When needed, MSF also constructs wells and dispenses clean drinking water, and provides shelter materials like blankets and plastic sheeting. MSF was founded in 1971 by a small group of French doctors and journalists as the first non-governmental organization to both provide emergency medical assistance and to publicly bear witness to the plight of the people it assists.”

Project Muso 

“Muso’s mission is to eliminate preventable deaths in the world’s most impoverished communities. We envision a world in which 6.6 million children no longer die each year from preventable and curable diseases, in which every child has the opportunity to make it to age five. We envision a world in which every mother has access to the essential tools she needs to protect her health and the health of her children. Muso is a for-purpose organization. We are data-driven and community-led. We’re obsessed with efficiency and transparency. We are designing for scale, and for transformational change.”

American Medical Overseas Relief

“American Medical Overseas Relief exists to provide health care to those who cannot provide for themselves. AMOR is dedicated to improving the health of people in impoverished areas; focusing on maternal and newborn care, children’s health, trauma and urgent care, and health and hygiene education. We are committed to providing quality health care that will not only meet the immediate needs of the population in a specific area, but also introducing new standards of care in each country we serve.”

Gidron, B., Hasenfeld, Y., & Ebooks Corporation. (2012). Social enterprises: An organizational perspective. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.


Privacy Preference Center