Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Philanthropy Can Do Wonders

The reason the recent philanthropy by Warren Buffet (giving $31 billion to the Gates Foundation) is important to the Parkway is that it shows the huge potential philanthropy has to suddenly change the dynamics of a public issue (in this case that of pubic health).

A direction we have proposed for the Parkway (suffering from ineffective management and scarce funding) is to allow a nonprofit organization to provide management and fund development because what can happen when you mix the good will of people with the public good can be wonderful.

Here is an excerpt.

Editorial: Buffett's generosity
A notable gift, a notable example
Published 12:01 am PDT Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The amount of money is so large -- who can really imagine having $31 billion, much less giving it away? -- that the magnitude of Warren Buffett's philanthropy is hard to grasp. But the Omaha investor's decision to donate the bulk of his fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is enormous, and not just in terms of the sum involved. It literally has the potential to change the world.

Buffet's donation, combined with the Gates Foundation's existing endowment of more than $25 billion, will create a philanthropic endeavor on a scale never seen before, with ambitions to match. At the announcement of Buffett's gift, Gates spoke of the possibility of developing a vaccine for AIDS and curing the 20 most prevalent infectious diseases in the world.