Tomorrow’s Philanthropist

Barclay Wealth, in cooperation with Ledbury Research, recently published a report titled “Tomorrow’s Philanthropist,” which investigates current trends in charitable donations to predict changes in philanthropy in coming decades.  The report is based on interviews with 500 wealthy philanthropists as well as experts in charity and finance.

Much of report focuses on changes in the composition of the wealthy.  It notes that an increasing number of wealthy philanthropists made their fortunes through their own entrepreneurship.  As a result, the report finds that they are more likely to take an active role in the way their donations are being spent.  They are more likely to donate to smaller, leaner organizations than philanthropists in the past.  They are also more willing to take risks with their donations, supporting creative and innovative charities instead of large established charities.

Additionally, philanthropists are demanding more results from their donations.  They are asking for more transparency in charities and are specific about how they want their donations to be used.  Tomorrow’s philanthropists are also increasingly supporting international causes.

“Typically you’re getting five to ten times the value with your dollar in international giving than you are in inner-city Chicago… for $150, you completely alter the trajectory of somebody’s life. You say, well how much would it cost me to actually achieve that same thing per person in the US? It’s probably about $4,000.”     -Doug Balfour, CEO of philanthropic advisors Geneva Global

The report also discusses the increasing role of women in philanthropy, the role of new technologies and charity, and the blurring of the distinction between business and philanthropy.  May of the trends discussed have been the subject of other publications, but this report is unique in presenting them in a unified manner to give a fairly clear picture of what the world of philanthropy can expect in the future.