Philanthropology: The Evolution of Giving

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Tomorrow's Philanthropist found that the wealthy have not significantly reduced their donations to charity during the downturn and continue to be very generous with their time. This new paper presents the findings from a re-analysis of the same US and UK survey data and broadly identifies the different types of high net worth donors which exist today, looking more closely at their characteristics and what motivates them.

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Privileged Youth - Having inherited some or all of their wealth, this group enjoys a comfortable lifestyle yet feel an element of guilt regarding their wealth. Giving their time and energy to charity is a means of offsetting some of this guilt.

Eco Givers - Predominantly successful businesswomen, this group primarily donates to environmental charities and to disaster relief in addition to supporting children's and social welfare charities.

Altruistic Entrepreneurs - This group strongly believes that the wealthy have a duty to give and to share their wealth, and in particular they support causes that give back to the communities where they grew up.

Reactive Donors - Predominantly male, high-earning executives, this group tends to give to charity because it is expected amongst their peers, rather than through a moral or social conviction.

Cultured Inheritors -This group is strongly motivated to give to immediate family and community causes; they are also one of the few groups who retain a strong interest in supporting the Arts.

Professional Philanthropists - One of the oldest groups, it consists of high-earning executives and business owners who are typically motivated by a combination of their religious, as well as their political and social beliefs. They tend to donate to education (most often universities) as well as to religious causes.

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