Philanthropic giving is ‘urgently needed’, say 79% of high net worths



The majority of high net worth individuals describe the worldwide need for philanthropic giving as ‘urgent’, although top concerns vary among regions, according to the Individual Philanthropy Index from BNP Paribas Wealth Management. 

The index comes from a survey of 400 high net worth individuals, each with investable assets valued at $5 million (£2.98m) or more. Forbes Insights carried out the survey in late 2013, and split participants into four regions – Europe, Asia, the Middle East and United States.

The report is designed to measure the commitment of philanthropist in each of the regions. The United States, Europe and Asia are described are being roughly halfway to the philanthropic ideal.

The Middle East was found to be around a third of the way there, although the report notes the findings may not fully acknowledge the “strong cultural heritage of philanthropy” in the region.

Overall 79% of respondents said the need for philanthropic giving is ‘urgent’ or ‘extremely urgent’. However, which issues concern philanthropists most varies between the regions. The environment was cited as a top concern for those in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, compared to the United States, where health was number one.

When considering local causes, health comes out top overall, although philanthropists in the Middle East place a strong emphasis on education.

The research also found that the Middle East and the United States select social change as one of the top three issues for philanthropy in the world.

The report added that the motivation for philanthropy is largely “rooted in local history and culture”. For instance, in both the United States and the Middle East personal ties and experience are more likely to drive philanthropic donations, as 22% and 29% of respondents said respectively.

By comparison, Asian high net worths are motivated by the desire to give something back to society, whereas the altruistic desire to help others was found to be the top motivator for Europeans.

When asked about the time frame for achieving results, those in the Middle East took the longest-term view. In this region more than half of philanthropic donors are prepared to wait more than 25 years to see the impact of their donations.

Donors in the other regions are more likely to expect results in less than ten years.

Photo: Eastop via Freeimages

Further reading:

‘Super-rich’ Africans boosting philanthropic giving across continent

Bill Gates: philanthropy helped fight poverty and disease in 2013

$78bn fortune sees Bill Gates regain world’s richest man title

Why impact investment could soon be a trillion-dollar industry

The Guide to Philanthropy and Giving 2013


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