Nogen må gøre noget! om at gøre gavn som samfundsændrende fond

Esben Ravn Søndergaard

Student thesis: Master thesis


The Danish philanthropic foundations have in recent years undergone changes in the scale of their organizations and the scope of their philanthropy. With the foundations becoming professional-ized organizations with a clear emphasis on driving societal change, this thesis aim to explore how this new modern form of philanthropy affects both the organization and their applicants. By looking at the discourse and rationalities that define modern foundations, this thesis will exam-ine how these organizations view themselves, their philanthropic project and societal change as a whole. The thesis is divided into four chapters: Beginning with an introduction to the foundational field of enquiry and the chosen foundations, followed by a clarification of the methodical and ana-lytical framework; based on Michel Foucault’s theories on discourse and power analysis. Chapter two unfolds the foundations constitutive view on modern philanthropy and examines how this view gives birth to two distinct guiding rationalities on effect and societal change; con-cluding that as a part of the rationalities, new foundational needs arise; such as specific goals, strategies and knowledge on both society and effect, as well as a new view on the applicants and their projects. Chapter three unfolds how the modern foundations shape the relation to their field of applicants and their individual applicants through their rationalities. The first part analyzes how field of dif-ferent actors arise as a possible space of governing through the interchange of knowledge be-tween foundation and field. The last part zooms in on the individual applicant and analyzes how the foundations and applicant attain a productive relation based on mutual production of knowledge on effect. Chapter four consists of a discussion on the theoretic and empiric premises of the thesis as well as a discussion of the possible institutionalization of the foundations and what societal problems they are able to work with within the boundaries of their rationalities.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages80