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Philanthropy Inc. in the cross-hairs


Driven by photos of hungry children and fuzzy animals, charity has become a huge industry.

Driven by photos of hungry children and fuzzy animals, charity has become a huge industry. Even a cursory glance at the list of the largest charitable donations ever made clearly illustrates the magnitude of this industry: just consider American investment ‘guru’ Warren Buffett. He has personally donated over 30 billion dollars (€24 bn) to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which fights poverty and life-threatening diseases (like malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS). A staggering figure, greater than the GDP of many countries.

Yet Buffett’s donations are merely the tip of the iceberg. While he, the Gates’ and fellow billionaires donate substantial chunks of their fortunes to humanitarian causes, the real support for non-profit organisations (NGOs) actually comes from the countless ordinary working people who donate part of their annual income towards alleviating the world’s problems.

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