Richer Lives: why rich people give is an in-depth study of what drives rich people to give to charity, based on new research by Theresa Lloyd and Beth Breeze with over 80 wealthy UK donors, plus a dozen philanthropy advisers and 16 fundraisers and other experts. The donors were divided equally between a cohort who were first interviewed by Theresa Lloyd in 2002 for Why Rich People Give and a set of younger donors, some relatively new to philanthropy. In an article just published on the Alliance website, Lloyd and Breeze set out some of the key findings of the new study.
Most of what they find seems consistent with the way philanthropy has been developing in recent years. ‘Most people we spoke to feel their giving is more strategic now than 10 years ago,’ they say. ‘They are more proactive, planning ahead and thinking on a larger scale. We found an increased willingness to seek professional philanthropy advice, especially among younger donors, who are also more keen to consult their children and involve them in decisions. And we found a general desire to learn how to do it better.’
But it makes discouraging reading for charities. ‘Many donors perceive people working in charities as good-hearted but inefficient. Rich people need more proof that charities can and will make best use of donations, otherwise they will bypass them and set up their own delivery mechanisms.’
Overall, they describe a win-win situation, whereby the more effective their giving is, the more pleasure donors get out of it. ‘Despite all the complexities we found a simple truth: that being philanthropic might leave people worse off financially but it almost always enriches their lives.’
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