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The State of Philanthropy

March 26, 2009

acumenfund21We’ve talked a bit on this blog about the intersection between capitalism and philanthropy.  The Acumen Fund works exactly in this space.   It is a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty.  They have a strong presence in India and Pakistan, supporting a variety of projects that involve everything from energy to water.

Jacqueline Novogratz, Acumen’s CEO, recently spoke to The McKinsey Quarterly about the current state of philanthropy.     She advocates for a third way of community investment – one where government and the private sector work together.

In the interview she talks of a project in Andhra Pradesh where Acumen is partnering with a an entrepreneur to sell clean water to local residents.  Not surprisingly, there has been some controversy about this in charitable communities.

What are your thoughts about this approach?  There are pros and cons, certainly.  Which one wins out for you?

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