This paper seeks to answer the question, “What model of philanthropy has the most positive impacts on a community and is least disruptive to the vulnerable populations which it intends to serve?” A thorough reflection of each type of philanthropy: traditional philanthropy, organization building philanthropy, venture philanthropy and catalytic philanthropy, leads to a careful selection of the most significant elements of each type. Ultimately, an archetype of philanthropy that combines elements of strategic philanthropy, emergent strategies, and catalytic philanthropy is shared as a guide for companies or foundations looking to engage in philanthropic endeavors is provided in the conclusion.
The desire to better understand and remediate societal problems allows philanthropic foundations or companies seeking to engage in philanthropy as means of corporate social responsibility, an opportunity to support programs developed by those who work on the ground level and engage in relationships to make positive, sustainable change. Just as any type of service can have its benefits and its pitfalls, philanthropy needs to be done tactfully with specific tenets at the forefront of its efforts to ensure that it is not harming a vulnerable population. This paper investigates these aforementioned topics in detail, seeking to develop a complete and comprehensive understanding.