How to (or Why) Become a Philanthropist


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A research team at the Centre for Charitable Giving made up of researchers from he universities of Newcastle, Exeter and Strathclyde, has conducted a major initiative to understand the experiences of entrepreneurs turned philanthropists.

They found that these entrepreneurs shared some common traits:

  • Pursuit on a not-for-profit basis of big social objectives through active involvement of their economic, cultural, social and symbolic resources.

  • Application of business-like methods when making social investments: key performance indicators and rates of return.

  • Investment of more than just money to their causes: time, connections, the 'know-how', branding.

  • Application of leverage to their investments and frequent collaboration with others, including governments.

  • They don't believe in giving handouts. They want to help others to help themselves.


The researchers also found that the entrepreneurs accrued tremendous benefits from their philanthropic efforts.


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