ERNOP Special Issue of Voluntas

Philanthropy in the spotlight?
Achievements, Limitations, Opportunities and Risks

Full paper submissions due: December 15th 2019

Guest editors: Marta Rey-García (School of Economics and Business, University of A Coruña (UDC), Spain), Georg von Schnurbein (Center for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS), University of Basel, Switzerland), Michaela Neumayr (Institute for Nonprofit Management, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria)

The European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP) is pleased to announce that a special issue of Voluntas will be dedicated to the theme of the 9th international ERNOP conference 2019. Scholars are invited to submit their full papers for the special issue, in which we will focus on achievements but also limitations of philanthropy. Furthermore, the opportunities and risks for philanthropy to address new societal issues or to tackle them in innovative ways will be explored.

In recent years, the public profile of philanthropy has increased. Across Europe (and beyond) philanthropic actors take the lead in addressing societal issues and the contribution of philanthropy is being (re)discovered by public actors. Nevertheless, at the same time, expectations about the resources and achievements of philanthropy may pale in the face of public welfare. The advancement of knowledge about the theory and practice of philanthropy has evidenced its achievements as much as it has unveiled its limitations. While philanthropy is not a new phenomenon, its heightened visibility has raised questions about the background and motives of philanthropic organizations and donors, the place of philanthropy within (European) welfare states, the relationship of philanthropy to other actors that aim to solve societal issues and/or put issues on the societal agenda, and the impact of philanthropy in society. New methods or models such as impact investing or political agenda setting push the boundaries of philanthropy further and fuel discussions of legitimacy. Digital transformation is influencing all actors involved in philanthropy and their relationships, from donors to volunteers. Philanthropy may not only tackle new digital threats, such as those to privacy or democracy, but also take advantage of the opportunities of becoming digital. An increase in visibility seems to call for more transparency and a better understanding of the achievements, limitations, opportunities and risks of philanthropy: we should look the philanthropic gift horse in the mouth.

We invite scholars from various disciplines sharing a motivation to discuss the achievements of philanthropy in the present day, and to generate new questions about how philanthropy might develop in the future. Scholars are especially encouraged to submit papers addressing questions related to the reputation of philanthropic organizations, including issues such as transparency and legitimation, papers addressing questions related to democratic aspects of philanthropy, such as power exerted due to philanthropic activities, papers addressing limitations of philanthropic achievements in regard of solving societal (social) issues, and papers exploring opportunities and risks for the future (new problems and new methods). More theory-oriented, conceptual papers on the opportunities and limitations of philanthropy research are also welcome. In doing so, the special issue aims to also discuss the less bright side of philanthropy.

Authors are requested to submit their manuscripts directly in the Springer system; and need to indicate that the paper being submitted is part of the Special Issue: ‘Philanthropy in the spotlight’ in the submission questionnaire