Why We Need to Overhaul Philanthropy: Interview With Peter Buffett

I just came across an opinion piece from last summer written by Petter Buffett for the New York Times. He describes a term he calls “Philanthropic Colonialism”, where rich donors try to “save” locals even though the donors have zero knowledge of the culture or its problems. An excerpt is below (full article here).

Buffett writes:

” I now hear people ask, “what’s the R.O.I.?” when it comes to alleviating human suffering, as if return on investment were the only measure of success. Microlending and financial literacy (now I’m going to upset people who are wonderful folks and a few dear friends) — what is this really about? People will certainly learn how to integrate into our system of debt and repayment with interest. People will rise above making $2 a day to enter our world of goods and services so they can buy more. But doesn’t all this just feed the beast?…I’m really not calling for an end to capitalism; I’m calling for humanism. “