Crosscurrents in Philantropy

Crosscurrents in Philanthropy

Susan Raymond, managing director of research, evaluation and strategic planning at Changing Our World, predicted that the globalization of corporate operations could prompt many businesses to increase the amount of corporate giving they do overseas, which may cause cutbacks in domestic giving. No figures were given.

If philanthropic giving by corporations declines in the coming years, charities may be able to offset resulting losses by taking advantage of another growing trend; increasing sophisticated marketing deals between charities and corporations, said Michael P. Hoffman, chairman of Changing Our World. No figures were given.

Meanwhile giving totaled $203Billion in 2000 of which 83% was from individuals. But the end result was that figure was relatively flat as compared to the previous year. See my FI Space article, “Giving in 2003 Was Flat”

Shouldn’t this figure be increasing each year due to the huge transfer of wealth that is occurring? It is estimated that $6 Trillion will transfer to charities in the next 50 years. Say that it starts slowly, so that only $50 billion will transfer during the 10 years from2000 to 2010. And that trend starts slowly so that only about $2 to $4 billion transferred in the year 2000.

From 1999 to 2000, The Chronicle of Philanthropy showed that just in Donor Advised Funds, total assets went from $7.5 Billion in 1999 to $11.3 Billion in 2000, a gain of $3.8 Billion. It went in but donations only increased $400 million. It is there, but not hardly going to charities, yet.

Corporate changes may be a wash, if the American Cancer Society works with corporations; offering them as much as they get back in return.

In the private sector, where most of the fund raising occurs, (83%), plans like Donor Advised Funds are holding the transfer of wealth. We must learn to tap these funds.

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  1. I’ve always been skeptical of those estimates made some years ago about the huge transfer of wealth that is supposed to take place in coming decades. Seems to me it’s a matter of “don’t count them chickens until they hatch.”

    The coming aging of baby boomers and the huge expense of the denouement of a whole big generation is going to compete for that wealth. The current wealth-holders may have expensive end-of-life needs, the children and families of those wealth-holders will be competing with a huge global population for economic status, Uncle Sugar will need cash to pay for Social Security, Medicare and the needs of the next generation.

    Seems to me charities are going to have to compete with other needs for that wealth and have to come up with some pretty sharp reasons they should get it. Time to get thinking about that.

  2. It looks to me that the huge transfer of wealth is not happening in the numbers predicted.

    I think that our best bet is to work with corporations for the long haul. Develop programs for them and their foundations and the individuals as well. The Fortune 1000 is a start, but we should also include smaller firms like in California,the biotect’s, which tend to asssociate with health issues like ours.

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