n. An entrepreneur who uses business principles and practices to raise money for charity or operate a charitable organization.
Philanthropreneurs talk a lot about "intelligent money", "social investment" and "risk and return", but can charity giving really be measured like profit and loss? It seems it can. "We provide rigorous, analytical research into the performance of charities to show our donors, many of them giving more than £ 1 million, that their money has the greatest impact," says Martin Brookes, once an economist for global asset management company Schroders, now head of research at New Philanthropy Capital. "Our research shows us, for example, that the cost of a truant to society is £ 45,000 a year," adds Brookes, 44, "but there's a small charity we support in the North West called the Learning Challenge that works with truants and can get them back to school at a cost of £ 500. That is an extraordinary return."
—Tom Bouquet, “The new face of Philanthropy,” The Times (London), February 24, 2007
This year, as never before, the line between philanthropy and business is blurring. A new generation of philanthropists has stepped forward, for the most part young billionaires who have reaped the benefits of capitalism and believe that it can be applied in the service of charity. They are ''philanthropreneurs,'' driven to do good and have their profit, too.

Among them are eBay's founder, Pierre Omidyar, who wants to use investment capital as well as donations to expand the microloan industry, and Stephen M. Case, the co-founder of America Online, who is investing $250 million in companies that help consumers gain control of their health care.

Young companies are involved, too: when Google announced its philanthropic effort this year, it unveiled a venture-capital fund rather than a foundation.

The approach of these philanthropreneurs reflects the culture of the business that brought them their wealth: information technology, with its ethos that everyone should have access to information. By their way of thinking, the marketplace can have the same level-the-playing-field impact, and supply the world's poor with basic needs like food, sanitation and shelter.
—Stephanie Strom, “What's Wrong With Profit?,” The New York Times, November 13, 2006
1997 (earliest)
An entrepreneurial movement is under way in the nonprofit and government sectors. To aid this trend, The Philanthropreneur Newsletter will be launched in January by Oakfield Enterprises in Honolulu.
—Jan Norman, “Small-business exporters expect global expansion,” Orange County Register, November 10, 1997
Filed Under