Stanford Social Innovation Review : Informing and inspiring leaders of social change

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Individual Giving

Not “Better Than Nothing”

Combining charity with financial gain can seriously tarnish others’ appreciation of altruistic efforts.

 

Not all forms of altruism are created equal. Or, to put it another way, not all forms of altruism are perceived as being equally altruistic. When doing good coincides with doing well, the way that people view an altruistic act can change.

George Newman, assistant professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management, decided to study that dynamic after reading an article by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. The column detailed the saga of Dan Pallotta, a prominent...


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