The CSR Newsletters are a freely-available resource generated as a dynamic complement to the textbook, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Sustainable Value Creation.

To sign-up to receive the CSR Newsletters regularly during the fall and spring academic semesters, e-mail author David Chandler at

Monday, October 12, 2015

Strategic CSR - Philanthropy

The article in the url below reports on a philosophy graduate student, Matt Wage, who took a job in finance. He did so not to earn as much money as possible, but so that he can donate as much money as possible:
"Wage reasoned that if he took a high-paying job in finance, he could contribute more to charity. Sure enough, he says that in 2013 he donated more than $100,000, roughly half his pretax income."
The article focuses on the effect Wage can have due to the amount of money that he earns (and donates):
"One of the major charities Wage gives to is the Against Malaria Foundation, which, by one analyst's calculation, can save a child's life on average for each $3,340 donated. All this suggests that Wage may save more lives with his donations than if he had become an aid worker."
Wage was a student of the moral philosopher Peter Singer, who argues in a book published earlier this year that a utilitarian approach should guide an individual's philanthropy:
"The book, The Most Good You Can Do, takes a dim view of conventional charitable donations, such as supporting art museums or universities, churches or dog shelters. Singer asks: Is supporting an art museum really as socially useful as, say, helping people avoid blindness? After all, an American aid group, Helen Keller International, corrects blindness in the developing world for less than $75 per patient. It's difficult to see how a modest contribution to a church, opera or university will be as transformative as helping the blind see again."
Although the author has some reservations about Singer's approach if taken to the extreme ("There is more to life than self-mortification, and obsessive cost-benefit calculus, it seems to me, subtracts from the zest of life"), he sees the value in what Singer is proposing:
"Singer's argument is powerful, provocative and, I think, basically right. The world would be a better place if we were as tough-minded in how we donate money as in how we make it."
Take care
David Chandler & Bill Werther
Instructor Teaching and Student Study Site:
Strategic CSR Simulation:
The library of CSR Newsletters are archived at:
The Trader Who Donates Half His Pay
By Nicholas Kristof
April 5, 2015
The New York Times
Late Edition – Final