In December 2016, Open Impact, a social change advisory firm, reported some strange behavior by Silicon Valley’s wealthiest givers. While overall giving has reached record highs in the region — it’s estimated to be at least $5 billion annually, per data from 2013 — very little was flowing to local organizations, many of whom aid those struggling with things like affordable housing, which is directly related to the tech boom.

The group’s latest report, dubbed "The Giving Journey," was funded by the Gates Foundation and provides some clues to how such oversight can happen. Essentially, it boils down to the fact that helping super-rich donors figure out where to funnel their money could merit its own charity effort. While many entrepreneurial-minded people end up with huge windfalls because of their enormous salaries or shares in some startup, they also don’t know what to do with that wealth. Open Impact’s new report is designed to offer some suggestions.

Specifically, the report tracks many of these donors’ paths toward "actualized philanthropy" — or intentional, strategic and psychologically rewarding charitable actions–in order to find universal lessons for groups that might want to work with the next crop of new money. The report also points out obvious institutional gaps, and suggests future ways for other charities or consultancies to engage ...

Open Impact points out that for some self-motivated donors, a universal news and information sharing site like Giving Compass might be a good resource to start learning the landscape.

Read the full article by Ben Paynter at