Philanthropy: Are We a Profession? Should We Be?

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Key points:

  • When philanthropy is assessed against seven standards for what constitutes a profession, it meets only 3 of them.
  • Questions remain about the core concepts of the field, and how the field builds and disseminates knowledge.
  • There is much discussion about “scientific philanthropy,” but the inability to answer these questions limits the field’s ability to function scientifically.
  • Wisdom, rigor, and learning may be better approaches to philanthropy that a scientific approach.

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