As the debate continues over the role of government in addressing society’s needs, many observers wonder how philanthropy may fill this gap. Angela Eikenberry, Assistant Professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, has released a new book that examines the extent to which giving circles are able to enhance civic engagement and tackle community issues with philanthropic resources. In the volume, Eikenberry discusses several topics including the marketization of voluntarism and the democratic effects of giving circles.
She notes, “We should encourage a flourishing of philanthropic associations such as giving circles, but realize that their biggest contribution to democratic governance is more about what they enable members to give back to their communities rather than what funding recipients and the community gain from these gifts.” To learn more about Eikenberry’s analysis, take a look at Giving Circles: Philanthropy, Voluntary Association, and Democracy, published by Indiana University Press. A preview is available at Google Books.