The Center for the Study of Liberty partnered with Julie Joseph to host a dinner round table focused on approaches to charity. A group of thirteen guests, mostly young professionals from a diverse background of industries, met to discuss individual philanthropy and what questions we should ask when deciding how and why we give. To prepare for the discussion, they read articles arguing for and against “efficient” philanthropy, as well as a synopsis of research on the impact of TOMS Shoes.
The group weighed the trade-offs between data-driven giving that maximizes the efficiency in alleviating the most suffering versus a more personal approach that builds empathy and closely follows where the money is going. Under the guidance of moderator Dr. Brian Brenberg, questions were raised about whether it is possible to marry both approaches. Can we balance our responsibilities towards our local communities with opportunities to make a dent in global problems among highly vulnerable populations?
The conversation also touched on considerations when comparing the impact of our giving. Is "impact" subjective? How do we evaluate the effectiveness of our philanthropy? Do our motivations and feelings matter, or only outcomes? The participants were left with many new questions and thoughts to consider when directing their giving in the future.
6:00 PM – Opening Reception
6:30 PM – Welcome, introductions, and dinner
7:00 PM – Opening comments by leader
7:15 PM – Discussion
8:45 PM – Closing