Shackleton Centenary Expedition

The changing nature of philanthropy: the new Andrew Carnegie's December 16 2007


An interesting article by Sarah Murray appeared in the Financial Times on Friday looking at how the newly rich are now giving away their money much earlier in life, in effect reviving and remodelling the nineteenth century tradition of business philanthropy.

'Surplus wealth is a sacred trust, to be administered during life by its posessor for the best good of his fellow-men'.

It appears Andrew Carnegie's spirit lives on in a new generation of self-made wealthy individuals who now make up 75% of the Sunday Times Rich List, as opposed to the 25% who have inherited their wealth (fifteen years ago the ratio was the other way around).

According to the article, 'Many people are creating their wealth earlier in their lifetime and retiring at a younger age but wanting to remain active. Lifetime giving provides a focus for their energies.'

This has led to a change in terms of the type of philanthropist willing to part with his or her money, and a businesslike focus on how effectively their money is used.

The key question for new-school donors is: how can they make sure the money they give away works as hard as they do?

The Shackleton Foundation intends to be part of this new wave, by using funds donated by businesses or individuals as a form of social venture capital, and helping donors to identify people and projects deserving their support.

We will be exploring this theme further on these pages: stay tuned.

Click here to read the whole FT article.

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