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Lincoln Center

Philanthropic naming rights, and naming wrongs

Philanthropic naming rights, and naming wrongs

Poor David Geffen. By giving $100 million to New York's Lincoln Center to rename Avery Fisher Hall after himself, he's become the new focus of a philanthropic debate that has gone on for decades.

There are three schools of thought when it comes to big-ticket charity. The first is the Purist School, which embraces the Biblical admonition to let not your right hand know what your left hand is doing in alms-giving, as well as the teachings of 12th century philosopher Moses Maimonides. In other words, the most noble form of giving is that which is done anonymously. Advocates of this position, as you might imagine, are horrified by Geffen's apparent insistence on slapping his name on...

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