“Training a guide dog to help a blind person costs around US$ 40 thousand. Curing a blind person from trachoma in a developing country costs between US$ 20 and US$ 50. For the same money, you can get a guide dog for a blind person or you can cure 400 to 2,000 blind people.”
It is with this dilemma that Peter Singer, professor of philosophy at Princeton, explains the foundations of a movement known as effective altruism. Guided by calculation and rationality, followers of this current seek to apply scientific evidence to determine the most efficient means of positively impacting the world. This mentality seeks to replace the traditional concept of charity, which ?associated with religion? is predominantly emotion-driven. Donors, in this model, are driven by empathy with beneficiaries. The efficiency or effectiveness of the money is not considered, but the moral commitment to the next that materializes through the donation.
In a country ranked 68th in the global ranking of donations, where donations represent only 0.23% of GDP compared to 2.1% in the US, this discussion seems far away. Especially if we consider the unwillingness of Brazilians to talk about their donations: in a recent survey carried out by IDIS, 87% of donors agreed that people should not tell that they make donations. The curious thing is that the same survey shows that more than half of Brazilians
cash donations in 2015 and that 30% of the population donates on a recurring basis. That is, the practice of philanthropy is already installed in the country, but the debate about the best methods is still incipient.
If we understand that philanthropy is not just the exercise of generosity, but also the use of our resources to promote a better world, it becomes clear that we need to assess the impact of the money we donate. But it is necessary to consider: rationalizing philanthropy as much as possible and removing emotion from the process puts in check characteristics
fundamentals of the social sector. Betting on effective altruism: who would donate to innovative projects yet to be
results to show? How many causes would not be orphaned by not being able to present evidence of their results? How would you bet on long-term ideas or advocacy NGOs seeking to change legislation?
In practice, there are limits to both reason and emotion. And, as NGOs in Brazil collect an average of less than 10,000 reais per month, we shouldn't waste too much time with false dilemmas. What we need is to develop a philanthropy that articulates these two visions and finds a possible balance point.
It is in this context that Portfolio Philanthropy emerges.
This new trend has the challenge of integrating philanthropy with sustainable financial planning, combined with conscious consumption and responsible investment. To create positive change that articulates with your worldview, planning is required. Philanthropy should not be a sporadic action, but an area of everyone's financial planning. The money should be divided between investments, expenses and donations.
The constancy of donations is important precisely for the formation of a philanthropic vision, capable of guiding the allocation of resources noting the donor's preferences and restrictions, but also considering the different approaches, causes and strategies found in the social sector. As a result of planning, the donation portfolio tends to value the balance of approaches from supported organizations, after all, the impact that the donor wants to see in the world is rarely restricted to a single organization or cause.
For the entire social sector to develop, and for society as a whole to overcome the false dilemmas between reason and emotion when giving, we need more portfolio philanthropists. Who knows with this we can hope for a better country, less unequal, less corrupt in the short, medium and long term. The challenge of philanthropy is not the battle between head and heart, but creating a harmonious partnership between the two.
LEONARDO LETELIER, president of Sitawi Finance for Good? RICARDO BORGES MARTINS, advocacy professor at FGV
The article was originally published at: http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/empreendedorsocial/colunas/2016/11/1834750-chamado-a-uma-nova-filantropia.shtml