The recent media frenzy over Madonna's activities in Malawi shows how closely we scrutinize celebrities' philanthropy and advocacy. But why? And with our attention focussed on Madonna, Bono, and George Clooney, are we paying enough attention to NGOs themselves? Jennifer Foth explores the intersection of celebrity, philanthropy, and development.
In a recent post on WhyDev, Josie Stewart provides a sharp critique of the branding practices of aid agencies such as USAID and DfiD. Here, Jennifer responds, arguing that we need to harness the potential of branding in creating awareness and demand, particularly for smaller, national NGOs.
In development circles, few things right now are as hot as social entrepreneurship. And millennials have demonstrated particular enthusiasm for social entreprise, looking to become social entrepreneurs to fix everything from poverty to pollution. Yet as Jennifer Foth explains, there may be motivations other than altruism at play.