Wealthy Donors

The City That Philanthropy Built
January 20, 2017 at 9:13 am

Madison, Wis., has long leaned on philanthropy. When John Nolen had a vision of a city built on an isthmus, it was a small group of philanthropists led by John M. Olin who ponied up the $2,500 to publish the unique architectural plan. Since then, nearly everything people love about Madison has been built at…

Inequality, Inequality, Inequality: The Billionaire Philanthropists as Rich as Half the World
January 17, 2017 at 11:13 am

Oxfam today released an analysis of global wealth that suggests eight men have a combined wealth comparable to that of the poorest 3.6 billion people on the planet. The Telegraph provides interesting analysis of potential flaws in the research methodology, but what is most interesting is that these eight men, these supposed symbols of the…

The 18 Biggest Charitable Donations of 2016
January 13, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Looking back on the philanthropic efforts of well-heeled donors over the past 12 months, it turns out that 2016 was a big year for charity. The number of big gifts last year far outshone those of 2015. By “big gifts” I mean megagifts, or charitable donations of more than $100 million. According to a recent…

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Builds Political Muscle for Philanthropic Work
January 12, 2017 at 8:00 am

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have vowed to put their enormous wealth toward philanthropic causes. Now the couple are putting infrastructure in place to make sure their money and efforts will make an impact on policy as well. Zuckerberg and Chan have hired a top political operative to lead the next…

Ask Prospective Donors These 8 Questions
January 9, 2017 at 8:40 am

Most fundraisers spend an inordinate amount of time and energy worrying about making the case for their organization. But a far more productive undertaking is to get to know your major donors—particularly why and how they want to give. Find that out and you’ll have a sense of what you should ask them for and…

Attracting 'Big' Philanthropy in a Changing Landscape
January 6, 2017 at 12:32 pm

The philanthropy pie is growing, but the slices are getting bigger. Those slow to the table are going to be left hungry. The evolving behavior of philanthropists will also require an innovative approach from the nonprofit organizations and leaders that seek their investment. Focusing on improvement and activity in three key areas will best position nonprofits to win in an increasingly competitive market...

'The James Bond of Philanthropy' Culminates Career With $7M Donation
January 4, 2017 at 10:22 am

Charles Feeney concluded his 35-year philanthropic career last month the same way he started it—with a $7 million donation to his alma mater, Cornell University. This gift mirrors a donation of the same size in 1982—Feeney’s first donation to the University—which launched the Cornell Tradition, a program that awards 500 fellowships each year to Cornell…

Why More Investors Are Donating Stock to Charity
December 12, 2016 at 9:09 am

As the stock market reaches new heights after the presidential election, more investors are looking at their portfolios to see which securities have gone up the most—and then donating them to charity. “We’ve seen an uptick in charitable giving using appreciated stock,” says Paul Stark, a wealth and estate-planning strategist at SunTrust Banks Inc. That…

Why the Wealthy Don't Give More
December 12, 2016 at 8:00 am

Several years ago, a news piece on a poll by U.S. Trust and Phoenix Marketing gave us interesting insights into the giving of the wealthy and clues on how to unlock their giving to your organization. Those findings are still true today. But let's add to the list of reasons the wealthy don't give more...

This Family Is Passing Down Their Charity to the Next Generation
December 6, 2016 at 11:13 am

When it comes to talking about estate planning—a topic that combines the ultra-awkward subjects of death and taxes—families with fortunes aren’t any more comfortable than the average American is. But when the older generation wants to leave a philanthropic legacy (and on average, the wealthy plan to give away 12 percent of their estate to…