Month: August 2010

50% of assets: The new benchmark for philanthropic major donors?

Through the Giving Pledge, initiated by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, 40 billionaires pledged to donate 50% of their wealth to charity.  Will 50% become a new standard?

I don’t believe we’ve ever had a peer-driven giving standard for the wealthy.

From the religious community we have 10% tithing.  But tithing was not designed for the wealthy—quite the contrary. Many people of very modest means generously tithe.  

From the financial advisory community comes the 1-3% of asset rule.

Should donating 50% of one’s wealth take hold as a peer expectation, it is a quantum leap.  And it has the potential to have even greater impact if it trickles down to all wealthy donors, not just the mega-rich.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens.