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The emerging philanthropists

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Posted: 6 am ET

Philanthropy is poised for long-term global growth, as well as changes in giving practices due to the increasing participation and population of millionaires, according to a recent study.

The study, by WealthInsight, says that instead of simply cutting a check or making a pledge, donors are increasingly focused on the impact of their donation. "Rather than gaining wealth through inheritance, the majority of millionaires today are newly created or 'first generation,'" Ouliana Vlasova, head of content at WealthInsight, said in a statement. "As a result, an increasing number of millionaires are focusing on applying business acumen to their chosen cause."

The rise of venture philanthropy

Cultural, academic and health care causes are still highly favored by millionaire philanthropists across the globe. Cultural causes were preferred by 18.7 percent of high-net-worth respondents, academia by 18.4 percent and health care by 17.8 percent. These were closely followed by humanitarian causes, favored by nearly 16 percent.

But while the causes are nothing new, the methods of giving are shifting. In Western countries, charitable giving still revolves mostly around donating money and time. But venture philanthropy is beginning to take hold among global millionaires. In India, for example, venture philanthropists are applying their business acumen by microfinancing health care benefits for the poor.

A desire to see results, particularly among the younger, globally minded donors, is driving the changes, according to the study. "Younger philanthropists who have been raised in the age of information are very careful about how they choose their causes," said Vlasova. "For many of them it is less about tax as it is about real desire to change something."

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