Over the next couple of months, Wunderbar is developing a new fundraising initiative, the Wunderbar Foundation. 

Along with its core aim of raising money for our projects, the Foundation will explore some of the ethics and challenges of traditional fundraising. 

This is our first collaboration with Rachael Wiseman, our philosopher-in-residence, whose Integrity Project – investigating the value of integrity and the price of doing without it – is supported by a fellowship at Durham University.

Fuelled by many cups of tea and vegan pastries (check these out!) Rachael and Ilana have been exploring the idea of a ‘trickle-up’ economy, in which the virtue and happiness of artists can be ‘purchased’ by those who are cash-rich but integrity-poor. 

As Rachael says: “It isn’t that all artists are happy and virtuous and all rich unhappy and corrupt… but if philanthropy has benefits for the philanthropist […the trickling up of ‘good feels,’ and the positive qualities associated with artists such as authenticity and creativity] then perhaps access to such benefits should be limited to the ‘deserving rich’ rather than the ‘undeserving rich’. If so, how?”

And, as the Wunderbar Foundation will discuss, how does that affect us, the artists, who stand with our buckets to accept some of those cash trickles? How do we decide who’s deserving and undeserving?

We’re making a series of short podcasts that we’ll be broadcasting next week, to coincide with the launch of the Hannah Directory; that’s where you come in. As part of the podcasts we’d like to insert some chatty ‘mini-lectures’ around 60 seconds in length – which introduce the historical and philosophical issues that lie behind some of our discussion points.

Below are the questions that have come up so far. If you have any thoughts to share on this juicy lot – send them over to us here

And look out for the podcasts from next week.

  1. What is the relation between a good life and feeling good?
  2. What is the relation between doing the right thing and feeling good?
  3. When is a market exchange fair/unfair?
  4. How does giving/receiving money affect relations between individuals?
  5. What is work?
  6. What is the value of art?
  7. Should the arts be privately or publicly funded?
  8. How does dirty money get clean? 
  9. What is the role of the artist in a capitalist economy?
  10. Can you be rich and virtuous?
  11. Is altruism possible?
  12. Are there historical or literary cases that can help to illuminate or explore the relation between artist and benefactor or between recipients of charity and charitable donors?
  13. Does the Christian tradition of paying for indulgences provide an illuminating comparison with some contemporary philanthropic giving?
  14. What do ethical theorists – consequentialists, virtue ethicists, deontologists – have to say about charity?
  15. Is Socialism opposed to charity?


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