The Forbes 400 Report: how is next-generation philanthropy shaping up?


Karla Simon

Karla Simon

Karla Simon

A recent post from the Chronicle of Philanthropy about restricted gifts led me to download the linked report that was generated as a result of the Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy. Entitled ‘Next-Generation Philanthropy: Changing the World’, the report (available free but email address required) contains the results of a survey of 264 of the world’s top philanthropists, all of whom had at least $1 million in investable assets.

The Chronicle article focuses on the preference for restricted gifts among higher net worth taxpayers. But there are some other interesting nuggets that only a tax geek like me would focus on:

  • 7% of individuals with assets between $1 million and 5 million and 18% of individuals with assets over $50 million have utilized a pooled income fund. That seems amazingly high to me, and I’m shocked that it actually goes up with higher-income donors rather than down.
  • Two thirds of respondents said that they had a different philanthropic focus from their predecessors. This shows the need for succession planning in charitable vehicles, an area that I think is sometimes overlooked.
  • In response to the question ‘With whom do philanthropists partner?’, 40% responded ‘business’ while 28% said ‘other non-profits’ and 22% said ‘government agencies’. And you all thought we were making this social enterprise stuff up.
  • 44% of respondents want a time horizon of less than ten years to see a return on philanthropic investment. I’m thinking this counts as patient capital in the for-profit world, but is it in the non-profit world?
  • Finally, 56% of respondents say that taxes affect their philanthropic giving.

It’s an interesting read for those of us thinking about how the non-profit world and the system of private philanthropy will develop over the next generation.

Tagged in: Forbes 400 Next generation social enterprise

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