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May 01, 2014

Personal Experiences Motivate Philanthropy Worldwide

Personal Experiences Motivate Philanthropy Worldwide

Since 2013, Forbes Insights has partnered with BNP Paribas to produce a report on global trends in high-net worth philanthropy. Although regional variations exist, all philanthropists rated “personal experience” as one of the top-five motivational factors driving their philanthropy. This is a change since 2013, when only 24 high-net worth philanthropists said it had inspired their giving (of the 303 surveyed world-wide). You can access the full report, as well as other resources, at Forbes Insights.

Top 5 Philanthropic Motivators

Top 5 Philanthropic Motivators

— BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index Philanthropic Journeys:
The Importance of Timing (2014)

This past year, our company had the privilege of interviewing a philanthropist of Chinese descent. While his career as a surgeon guided his early philanthropy toward healthcare organizations, his retirement led him to consider how his passion for Chinese history might benefit others. Over his lifetime, he had amassed more than 25,000 sundry artifacts tracing the struggles of the Chinese people, a topic of personal importance. He explained:

Growing up of Chinese origin in the 1920s and 30s was very, very difficult. Right from the start, my father told us that there’s one thing we haven’t got yet, which is social acceptance. So everything you do, don’t expect it to come easily, and don’t expect you’ll obtain it in the end because of our race.

…After I retired, I found that I had to decide what to do with those 25,000 items of Chinese material packed in my basement. I don’t know how much time I spent tracing it down and getting it, even going into a dumpster in the backstreets (of Chinatown). After spending so much time and effort getting those together, I hate to disperse it, you know? One piece here, one piece there… and it doesn’t make a story about the history of the Chinese.

It started my new train of thought of philanthropy, to donate all those items to an institution… close by so that I could still go and look things up when I wanted to. I get back the satisfaction that I’m keeping history for the later group, particularly for the new massive increase of Chinese immigration. They can go down there and learn their history.

One of the most moving things ever was to take two classes through [the collection]. Each student was to write a one-page article about their feelings. It was rewarding to read how the importance of these collections were to their minds… Many of the students say that they never realized the Chinese had to go through that era in order to be what they are today.

(1) Comments

Terry Ndee
on 06/13/14
Brilliant report and useful to professional fundraisers globally. I like to see similar report that includes African countries.

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