The Role of Philanthropy Within the United Nations System: The Case of the United Nations Foundation
Foundations and their equivalents, such as the al wakf system in the Islamic world, have existed for centuries as a means of bringing private resources to bear on public purposes, but they have traditionally drawn little interest. As part of a general re-appraisal of the role of the state in modern society, however, foundations were rediscovered by donors and policy makers alike and the past two decades experienced a renewed interest in these institutions in much of the developed North. This interest is held by governments, corporations, and private citizens alike. Governments use foundations for semi-privatizing tasks that are not as easily or as efficiently accomplished within the regular public administration or for leveraging private money for public purposes. Corporations also make more frequent use of foundations as part of their corporate giving and outreach strategy or to assume legal ownership of corporate assets. For private citizens, foundations are mechanisms to actively engage in the public discourse and reclaim societal space for a functioning civil society from the state.
KeywordsCivil Society United Nations Public Purpose Unite Nations Industrial Development Organization International Partnership
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