Wealthy donors are ruled by their heads, not their hearts

Wealthy philanthropists are less influenced by their emotions than other donors and give more strategically, according to research commissioned by Barclays Bank.

The Changing Face of Philanthropy: today, tomorrow and beyond says that as people become wealthier, philanthropy becomes more important. It concludes that wealthy philanthropists are driven to give by four things: a sense of responsibility, compassion, conscience and through a direct link to the cause.

The report, based on research carried out by agency Ledbury Research, also suggests that new wealth as a result of increasing entrepreneurship will trigger more major donations and greater donor involvement.

Researchers predict that wealthy parents will increasingly use philanthropy to teach their offspring how to cope with the immense wealth they will one day inherit by involving them in the funding decisions of family trusts.

“These people have some real concerns about passing on inordinate amounts of wealth to their children and the possible dangerous effects of this on their children’s lives,” said Dr Salvatore LaSpada, chief executive of the Institute for Philanthropy.

The research is based on quantitative data from 504 people with more than £100,000 in investable assets, in-depth qualitative interviews with 15 people who have more than £3m in investable assets and the views of five experts.


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