Giving Compass’ Take:
• In this story from Fast Company, author Ben Paynter discusses how the richest people in the world are deterred from placing “big bets” on causes because they always think the best time to give is later.
• The author mentions that the longer donors wait to give, the more difficult it may be to develop a learning curve.
• To learn more about how big bets in philanthropy can lead to big change, click here.
There are a lot more super-rich people in the world compared to just a couple of decades ago. The rate of billionaires, for instance, has jumped sevenfold since the early ’90s–to above 2,200. And while most of those billionaires make an effort to give some money to charity, taking a look at how those extra (extra!) deep pockets help others, however, and you might be disappointed.
In total, the richest placed only 69 “big bets” of $25 million or more toward major cause work in 2017. (A big bet is an immediate and outsize gift with the intention of sparking immediate change.) That number has remained in roughly the same ballpark in recent years. A lot of the problem hinges on just one word. “I think the biggest competition or threat to giving is later,” says William Foster, the head of nonprofit consultancy Bridgespan. “I think people always feel like they can do more later. People generally see their big giving days around the corner as opposed to today.”
Foster points out that delays don’t just cost groups the chance to immediately impact problems before they spiral: The longer donors wait to get involved, the harder it may be to help them develop the learning curve necessary to give in a smart way, especially if they want to make an impact within their own lifetimes.
Read the full article about big bets by Ben Paynter at Fast Company.
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