It’s easy to talk about how, in crisis, philanthropic initiatives shine.
Here’s some testaments to that: Donated personal protective equipment supplies and the food and housing made available to those whose financial lives were thrown into chaos. Climate catastrophes and the swift philanthropic response to them make that list as well.
But Birju Pandya wants to broach a more difficult conversation: How is the investment path of philanthropic dollars sometimes part of the problem to begin with?
“When it comes to the big private foundations, they have to, as a rule, give away at least 5% of their assets every year with grants and charitable gifts,” Pandya said. “But those grants and charities might be solving problems that 100% of that money created — like an oil company foundation’s work to support environmental initiatives.”
At the very least, Pandya, who is linked to Mount Laurel-based real estate company Nessel Development and its renewable energy sister company Nessel Energy, argues it’s worth examining what gets neglected when it comes to philanthropy.
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