1st Edition

Philanthropic Foundations in International Development Rockefeller, Ford and Gates

By Patrick Kilby Copyright 2021
    140 Pages
    by Routledge

    140 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book focuses on the influence of philanthropic foundations in global development, and on how the global south has engaged with them.

    The idea of corporate philanthropy stretches back a long way, with the late 19th industrialist Andrew Carnegie seeing it as an important obligation of the very wealthy. In the modern day, Bill Gates has taken up this call, suggesting that the very wealthy should donate half their wealth to philanthropic causes, and endowing his own foundation with something in the order of $50 billion. This book brings together case studies of the most influential of these foundations over the last one hundred years: the Rockefeller, Ford, and Gates' Foundations, investigating their impact on education and research, health and agriculture. The book concludes by asking whether global south foundations such as Al Waleed Philanthropies, Tata Trusts, and those from China may point to the future of global philanthropic foundations.

    The sheer scale of resources that foundations can devote to their work results in significant influence in global politics, to the point that Foundations can drive and even set government policy. This influence is likely to grow in the post-Covid environment, making this book an important resource for researchers, practitioners and policy makers working on global development.



    1. The Foundations and Philanthrocapitalism
    2. The Rockefeller Foundation.
    3. The Ford Foundation
    4. The Gates’ Foundation
    5. Conclusion: The State of Foundations in a COVID World and the rise of the Global South



    Patrick Kilby is a Senior Lecturer at Australian National University and Adjunct Associate Professor, Humanitarian and Development Research Initiative (HADRI) at Western Sydney University.

    "A refreshing and fascinating study of the power, politics and influence of global foundations on international development policy and practice. From the Gates Foundation to the Al Waleed philanthropies of Saudia Arabia, Kilby skilfully unravels the implications for global stability and change in a post-Covid world. A `must read’ for development studies, international relations, politics and public health researchers." -- Jude Howell, Professor of International Development, LSE, UK

    "Love or loathe them, the influence of massively wealthy foundations set up by wealthy entrepreneurs has had a profound effect on development affairs. This highly readable account provides an important introduction to some of the oldest and largest foundations, and explores the context in which the newer arrivals will wield their influence." -- Dan Brockington, Professor and Director of SIID, University of Sheffield, UK

    "For over a hundred years, large American private foundations – especially Rockefeller, Ford, and Gates – have shaped and inspired philanthropy and catalysed opposition to it. Patrick Kilby has written an indispensable history and important analysis of the role that the Rockefeller, Ford and Gates foundations have played in international development and national life. As we transition to a new era of increased philanthropic competition, diversity, and innovation, we are grateful to Dr. Kilby for illuminating this history and pointing the way to the paths of conflict and progress ahead for organized philanthropy." -- Mark Sidel, Doyle-Bascom Professor of Law and Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

    "Patrick Kilby’s study of philanthrocapitalism reveals that foundations such as Rockefeller, Ford and Gates are not minor adjuncts to state-dominated international aid and development policy, but major players and influencers in their own right. Kilby has managed to untangle the complex mixture of self-interest, altruism, ideology and the will to power that have shaped the work of these foundations, as well as the ambiguous impacts of their activities on the often poor, vulnerable and marginalised people they have been intended to help." -- Frank Bongiorno, Professor of History, The Australian National University