Why Are Rich People Afraid to Give Their Money Away?

The Chronicle of Philanthropy looks at the rich and the financial advisors of the rich and their differing approaches when it comes to charitable giving. They find that financial advisors are “under the misimpression that wealthy people may be reluctant to give because they fear not having enough money for their heirs and themselves.” But the REAL reason they are afraid to give away their money is “fear that nonprofits will misspend their money, their lack of connection to a charity, and their concern that they will face a deluge of donation requests from other groups once they give to one organization.”

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5 Comments / Post A Comment

andnowlights (#2,902)

Those are all valid reasons, honestly. So many non-profits spend an insane amount of money on completely unnecessary things (including several I’ve worked at) and their overhead is WAY more than the amount they spend on programs actually doing their intended work. Also, if you’ve ever bought tickets from a non-profit and then gotten a thousand other offers from like minded groups in the same area, you know your name has been added to group lists. That’s just how it works and it actually has kept me from giving money before. I don’t want your address labels- they just let me know that you spend too much on marketing.

sea ermine (#122)

I kind of agree with that? Especially since I work at a non-profit and definitely have some not so positive feelings on how certain organizations spend their money (ex. canvassers getting 50% of their donations, excessive overhead, etc.). Plus the fact that for a lot of non-profits (especially anti-hunger, or water charities or things like that) the only way for them to be truly successful would involve putting themselves out of business, which they aren’t going to do.

I think if I were a super rich person I would just rather have the government tax the shit out of me and use it to fund WIC, food stamps, programs that reduce income inequality, state sponsored daycare etc. rather than forcing me to sift through charity after charity and figure out how they’re run and whether they’re effective when that isn’t my job (unless I got rich by being a charity evaluator somehow). Especially because if I were super super rich I’d probably still have plenty of money left to throw at whatever pet cause the government wasn’t/shouldn’t be involved in.

readyornot (#816)

I spent Saturday evening at a dinner party with a bunch of potential donors to my graduate school. Trying to create that personal connection, I think. There was, like, a crazy amount of wealth represented in the room. But the people were nice and totally human!

WayDownSouth (#3,431)

I also agree with their concerns. My wife and I gave money to some charities and were smothered with requests for more after each donation. We gave some money after a natural disaster and received about 50 direct mail requests within a few weeks. As a result, we now donate directly to my wife’s church and we don’t get hassled.

WhyHelloThere (#1,398)

their concern that they will face a deluge of donation requests from other groups once they give to one organization.

I’m totally not rich, and I identify with that. Sometimes I’m tempted to create fake identities just to donate to charities and not be deluged with requests for more money.

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