Book Discussion: Winners Take All

Program Details

Join YNPN Chicago for a book discussion of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas. We will discuss his critique of philanthropy, how it affects the nonprofit sector, and how we can continue to seek justice and equity in our work. Coffee and light snacks will be provided. 


Charitable giving in the United States surpassed the $400 billion dollar mark in 2017. Amir Pasic, the Dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy said "This tells us that some of our most fortunate citizens are using their wealth to make some significant contributions to the common good."

At the same time, the wealthiest 1 percent owns 40 percent of our country’s wealth. Life expectancy in the United States has declined for the third straight year.

In Winners Take All, Anand Giridharadas argues the wealthy and powerful fight for equality and justice any way they can - except ways that threaten the social order and their position atop it. Elites preach “win-win” opportunities and market ideologies, and perpetuate systems that birthed the issues they purport to be solving.

Through the creation of private foundations and “thought leadership”, he argues that plutocrats and corporations make philanthropic donations in exchange for some good PR and image laundering. “It’s this idea that you can support a health initiative in Nigeria or the Niger Delta to reduce disease or diarrhea or whatever, and you can also make an investment in a company that is a polluter in the Niger Delta.”, said Giridharadas in a recent interview.

Book Links

Chicago Public Library


Penguin Random House

Other resources

Generous Giving Or Phony Philanthropy? A Critique Of Well-Meaning 'Winners' (NPR)

Collaborating for Equity and Justice: Moving Beyond Collective Impact (Nonprofit Quarterly)

The coming of hope: A vision for philanthropy in the new year (Ford Foundation)

Win/Win: Why Billionaire Philanthropists are Bad at School Reform (Have You Heard Podcasts)

April 24, 2019 at 6pm - 8pm
208 S LaSalle St
Chicago, IL 60604
United States
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