Philanthropication thru Privatization (PtP)

With the resources and capabilities of governments barely growing or in decline around the world, yet the problems of poverty, ill-health and environmental degradation ballooning daily, it is increasingly clear that new efforts, and new financial resources, are urgently needed to address the world’s pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges.
One promising route to solving this dilemma may be to channel into charitable endowments all or a portion of the proceeds of privatization transactions, a process we are calling Philanthropication thru Privatization, or PtP.
Properly designed and executed, PtP can revolutionize the charitable landscape of countries while transforming privatization into a “win-win” process for citizens, governments, and investors alike.
PtP is not just an abstract idea, moreover. It is already in operation. Indeed, some of the largest and most reputable foundations in the world, such as Germany’s Volkswagen Foundation, Italy’s foundations of banking origin, New Zealand’s network of “community trusts,” Belgium’s King Baudouin Foundation, and close to 200 health conversion foundations in the U.S. have all resulted from, or been enlarged through, a PtP process.
Yet these developments have all proceeded in virtual isolation. No one has thought to draw a circle around them and call attention to their striking commonalities. More importantly, no one has thought to highlight the important lessons they might hold for a new approach to privatization that can yield win-win payoffs for citizens and civil society, as well as for governments and investors.
Until now.

The PtP Initiative
Directed by Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies’ Director Lester Salamon, the PtP Initiative is the first concerted effort to pursue this option for creating indigenous charitable endowments out of the proceeds of privatization transactions. To date, the Initiative has: 

  • Identified more than 557 PtP foundations with nearly $136 billion in assets
  • Conducted case studies of 21 of these foundations
  • Produced a major report, analyzing how these foundations came about and how they have performed
  • Organized an Initiative Advisory Committee
  • Launched implementation efforts to generate PtP Pilot Projects
  • Undertaken a variety of dissemination events

The Initiative is administered by the East-West Management Institute (EWMI), an independent not-for-profit organization that has played an instrumental role in building sustainable civil society institutions in countries throughout the world. Please visit the PtP Project website to learn more about this Initiative.