by George E. Mitchell and Thad D. Calabrese, NCNE RAN Members

De Gruyter | Published online: March 3, 2020 | Open Access

Instrumental philanthropy has gained attention and popularity in recent decades as an approach to maximizing the impact of giving. This article by NCNE RAN Members George E. Mitchell and Thad Calabrese evaluates the suitability of the nonprofit institutional form, specifically the US public charity, as a vehicle for instrumental philanthropy. The analysis identifies an incongruity between the informational requirements of instrumental philanthropy and the form and theory of the nonprofit. The analysis from the article suggests that the viability of instrumental philanthropy hinges upon information costs. Several public policy options are considered as means of better supporting instrumental philanthropy, presuming that allocative efficiency in the production of public benefits is a desirable public policy objective.

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