Philanthropy in European Welfare States: a Challenging Promise?
Theo Schuyt is professor Philanthropic Studies at the University of Amsterdam. For over 15 years he has carried out extensive research into Dutch giving habits. In his article ”Philanthropy in European welfare states: a challenging promise?” he writes about a few interesting findings.
- The article gives a peek into the history and development of philanthropy. Philanthropy actually dates back as far the 16th and 17th century.
- Often the US is understood to be the founder of philanthropy, however, it actually originated in Europe. There is an ongoing evolution from traditional philanthropy to modern philanthropy.
- The expansion of the modern welfare state/government has resulted in many responsibilities, such as healthcare and education, being taken over by the government. The financial crisis has prompted people to take a fresh look at philanthropy as a possible contributor to poverty, welfare and education.
- Over the past 20 years philanthropy has made a remarkable comeback. In the UK Blair entered into a partnership with the voluntary sector in 1998. This partnership is known as ”The Compact” and was renewed in 2010.
- The report makes an insightful comparison of donation habits between the USA and the Netherlands. At the date of publishing the Netherlands was the the only Western European country to conduct similar research in this field along with the US.
- The report covers a comparison of the pros and cons of philanthropy along with the different structurally arrangements in serving the public good between Asia, Italy and Japan.
In light of the above, particular in relation to the history and evolution of philanthropy, it may also be interesting to read the article published by the Guardian on online giving and the astronomical increase in donations in the UK. ”Since the Victorian era, with its extremes of wealth and poverty, Britain has been known as a nation of givers, generous and compassionate towards our fellow men. By the end of the 19th century, around £5m a year was being collected by philanthropic agencies for the benefit of the poor – a huge amount equating to over £500m today. Giving to charity, whether via donations to societies or through the collection plate in church, had become an accepted, perhaps even expected part of life in English society.”
To review the entire article ”Philanthropy in European welfare states: a challenging promise?” by Theo Schuyt please click here. The article has been uploaded to our database with the permission of Theo Schuyt.