This week Forbes published its annual list of the 400 wealthiest Americans. But before that the magazine held its first Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy.
More than 150 billionaire or near billionaire entrepreneurs, including Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates, Oprah, Steve Case and Jon Bon Jovi, came together to talk about solutions to the world's worst problems. and to share ideas about how they could help.
In addition to the Summit, Forbes Insights and Credit Suisse created a survey covering 264 high-worth individuals across the globe. The resulting study, Next Generation Philanthropy: Changing the World, provides insight into how some of the world's most influential philanthropists approach their charitable work.
The study found these characteristics of today's high net-worth philanthropists:
- They are results driven. Less interested in leaving a legacy, they expect to see results from their giving in their lifetimes. In fact, more than half want to see results within 10 years. Measurement and tracking of results are important to them.
- They welcome collaboration. Most are willing to team up with other philanthropists, with corporations or with the recipients of their giving to ensure effectiveness.
- They are willing to take risks. Indeed, they see their philanthropy as investments and risk capital. They are not afraid to fail and learn from the experience if it means being more effective in the long run.
- They use a business-like approach to their giving. They tend to partner more with businesses for their philanthropic activities than with nonprofits or government. However, almost 70% of donors who have $1 to $5 million in investable assets say they prefer giving unrestricted gifts to charities.
- They feel that tax policies and U.S. elections are important. Fully 50% believe that the U.S. elections will affect the climate for philanthropy.
- They often set up family foundations. Fifty-nine percent of those with wealth of $50 million or more have set up a philanthropic entity. Most want these to be continued by their families.
Source: Forbes News Release 9/19/12
- The Giving Pledge - Bill Gates' and Warren Buffett's Big Idea for Philanthropy
- The Case Foundation - Pioneering Citizen Philanthropy
- What Wealthy Wired Donors Want From Nonprofits
Photo: Courtesy of Forbes.com
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