New Report Looks At High-Wealth Philanthropic Behavior

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – How do super wealthy philanthropists go about the business of giving back? A new report set out to answer that question and shed light on the workings of high-wealth charity. It explores how donors approach philanthropy, their motivations, behavior and choices.

Called “Beyond Giving: Perspectives on the philanthropic practices of high and ultra-high net worth donors," it was commissioned by The Philanthropy Workshop. The report is based on the self-reported responses of 219 respondents, 69 percent of which were in the U.S.

Co-authored by Rachel Cardone and Kimberly Dasher Tripp, the study was carried out with support from the Raikes Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

From a quick glance at some key figures, we can find out that women are the majority (68 percent), 25 percent have a net worth of more than $100 million, 42 percent made their own money, 51 percent are part-time philanthropists, 64 percent have engaged in philanthropy for more than 10 years and 53 percent are 52 to 70 years of age.

Education gets the biggest slice of donations at 20 percent, followed by health at 17 percent and economic opportunity at 13 percent. The environment comes next at 11 percent.

Eighty percent gave more than $100,000 a year. In some cases, respondents with lower net worth gave more than those with a higher worth.

One revealing and useful data in the report is how the respondents use structures and tools to make their donations. Tools include volunteer time (89 percent), grants (80 percent), investments (46 percent), running their own NGO (234 percent) and contracts (21 percent). Amongst the various structures used are foundations, checking accounts and private bank DAF, to name but a few.

The report provides many other insights on how the rarified world of high-wealth giving works, including influences on philanthropists, how they find opportunities, assess risk, and measure impact.

One of the key findings of the study is that philanthropy is a personal, bespoke journey, with no clear gender or age patterns. It is also very personal, with givers often following their heart and core values.

It is also not just about funding. Several philanthropists contribute their perspectives and networks to the causes and issues they care about. Volunteering, including board service, is predominant.

Finally, the way philanthropists conduct their deeds and make their decisions is reliant on personal and professional networks.

To download the full report, go here.