Category Archives: Business

5 Surprising Insights about the Nation’s Top Philanthropists

5 Surprising Insights about the Nation’s Top Philanthropists

Over the course of nearly two centuries, philanthropy has increased significantly in the United States. The number of private foundations that have been established since 2000 is now nearly on par with the previous century. In addition to foundations, donor-advised funds have become increasingly popular and have largely changed the landscape of the field of philanthropy. Much of this shift reflects what some have called a second Gilded Age with an upper class becoming even more wealthy.

Collectively, the wealthiest 1 percent are worth about $30 trillion. While these individuals give away only about 0.5 percent of their wealth in a year, that is still a significant amount of money. This portion of the population contributed approximately $390 billion to charity last year. However, much of this money actually comes from the top 0.1 percent.

TPW a leader in donor education

TPWFundraisers across the country spend most of their day trying to figure out how to convince this small group of people to donate to their causes. At the end of the day, however, the truth is that we know very little about the most generous philanthropists in the country. This fact was highlighted recently in a study written by The Philanthropy Workshop (TPW) called “Going Beyond Giving: Perspectives on the Philanthropic Practices of High and Ultra-High Net Worth Donors.” TPW has emerged as a leader in donor education, offering an immersive learning experience. The organization focuses on creating effective sustainable change and teaching philanthropists how to maximize the impact of their giving.

Both authors of the report have considerable experience in philanthropy. Katherine Lorenz, who presides over the George and Cynthia Mitchell Foundation, serves as chair of the TPW board. Co-author Tracy Mack Parker has more than 15 years of experience as an advisor to donors. However, both of them readily admit that they understand less about major donors than they should. Their curiosity is what spurred the study, which involved a survey of 219 donors.

A diverse group of donors

Overall, the survey showed that this group of elite donors is extremely diverse. Some individuals had earned their money from entrepreneurial endeavors, while others had inherited their wealth. Still others identified themselves as the next generation in a long line of donors. Grouping the donors in any category in terms of age, gender, or level of experience is a challenge.

This study is a must-read for fundraisers, and virtually everyone will get something different out of reading it. At the same, a few interesting tidbits shine through in the study that fundraisers should keep in mind as they strive to engage with such a diverse population. These points include the following:

Tax Reform – The Surprising Ways It Will Hurt Philanthropy

Tax Reform – The Surprising Ways It Will Hurt Philanthropy

The new federal budget recently approved by Congress relies on tax reform to offset any potential loss of revenue. Unfortunately, some of the proposed reforms could significantly limit philanthropy in the United States. According to a study from the University of Indiana, the recent tax reform plan offered by congressional republicans and President Donald Trump… Continue Reading

This Will Blow Your Mind: Google Pledges $1 Billion to Develop the American Workforce

This Will Blow Your Mind: Google Pledges $1 Billion to Develop the American Workforce

Recently, Google made a pledge to invest $1 billion in nonprofit organizations in the coming five years with the goal of helping individuals adjust to fundamental changes in the nature of work due to the growth of the technology industry. This announcement came from the chief executive officer of Google, Sundar Pichai, who called it… Continue Reading

JPMorgan Chase Aims to Make More Powerful Impact with Giving

The old model of corporate philanthropy has begun to evolve. In recent years, several firms have abandoned the traditional strategy of writing checks for local organizations in favor of more strategic approaches that involve asking questions learn how to create a focused impact. A great example of this shift is JPMorgan Chase, which recently announced… Continue Reading

5 Ways That Entrepreneurs Can Increase Philanthropic Giving

In September, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation issued a report on growing concerns that the world could backslide on gains in the international development arena. The United Nations created a set of 17 goals for improving the quality of life that philanthropists have been working toward with the aim of achieving as many of… Continue Reading

Bill Gates Donates $4.6 Billion to Charity

Bill Gates Donates $4.6 Billion to Charity

Recently, Bill Gates made waves in the philanthropic community with the announcement of a ten-figure charitable gift. In June, he donated $4.6 billion worth of Microsoft shares to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, his personal charity. The gift was not publicly known until a Securities and Exchange Commission filing published in early August. Bloomberg… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know About MasterCard’s Developments in Data Philanthropy

What You Need to Know About MasterCard’s Developments in Data Philanthropy

Technology has had a large impact on the field of philanthropy, from changing how individuals decide which causes to support to facilitating quick and easy donations with the push of a button. Some organizations are harnessing the power of technology in novel ways. MasterCard, for example, is investigating big data as a means of bridging… Continue Reading

Spotlight – One Firm’s Unique Approach to Philanthropy

Corporate philanthropy is a way for companies to give back to their communities and make an impact in fields that really matter to the employees and the larger corporate mission. However, over time, the definition of what constitutes corporate giving has become rather limited. Many companies give away money and products for the benefit of… Continue Reading

7 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Benefit from Engaging in Philanthropy

7 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Benefit from Engaging in Philanthropy

Entrepreneurship is physically, mentally, and emotionally trying. To establish a business, individuals need to work around the clock and overcome seemingly insurmountable hurdles. Should a business succeed, however, the payoff can be great. Often, these individuals bring the same passion to their philanthropy, despite the fact that there’s no such promise of a material payoff.… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know about Nonprofit Executive Compensation

What You Need to Know about Nonprofit Executive Compensation

When vetting nonprofits to support, individuals take a number of different factors into consideration. Each of these factors will have a different impact on the final decision depending on what is important to the individual donor. One of the issues that has gained increasing attention in recent years is executive compensation. The amount that officers,… Continue Reading