This article explores a remaining black box in the criminological literature on public problems: the prioritisation of the problem in the public arena. The research uses the case study of Genevan philanthropy to address the prioritisation of harms by moral entrepreneurs. Employing a qualitative methodology, it describes the prioritisation process by using the ‘market for social harms’ metaphor. It argues that philanthropists select their harms according to a risk/benefit assessment, which stems from the business world. This valuation of harms is collective and dependent on the competition and co-operation between philanthropists. Finally, by detailing this metaphor, the study provides the key to obtaining a more general understanding of the prioritisation process.