Center on Wealth and Philanthropy
Spiritual and Cultural Life in an Age of Affluence


Conference Registration Information

Conference Overview

Suggested Reading


Conference Registration Information

Special Room Rates!
If you need a hotel room you cannot beat this rate! A block of rooms for attendees has been reserved at The Sheraton Hotel in Newton, Mass., for October 7 and 8, 2008.
Rooms are provided at the discounted rate of $129 plus tax.

Call 1-800-325-3535 and reference code AFJ03.

Click here for online conference registration.

Click here for more conference information.

Click here to download a PDF of the conference brochure.

Please keep in mind that if you receive this newsletter or are a member of the Boston College Community you can benefit from the "member" early bird registration rate of $795 a potential savings of over 40%.

Early Bird Rates (Effective until August 15, 2008)
Member $795;
Nonprofit $995;
For-profit $1145

Regular Rates (Effective August 16, 2008)
Member $995;
Nonprofit $1195;
For-profit $1345

Dear Colleagues:

I'm delighted to invite you to join me and John Havens at our upcoming conference, The Supply and Demand of Philanthropy in the 21st Century, co-sponsored with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). The conference will be held here at Boston College on October 7 - 8, 2008. We are pleased to share information about the conference in this newsletter. For your convenience we have included a conference overview, registration information, and a list of suggested readings that will help you prepare for the conference.

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback. I wish you, your family, and your friends a relaxing summer season.

Paul Schervish
Center on Wealth and Philanthropy

  • Conference Overview
  • The Center on Wealth and Philanthropy garnered significant media attention from its report Millionaires and the Millennium: New Estimates of the Forthcoming Wealth Transfer and the Prospects for a Golden Age of Philanthropy. In this report CWP predicts a $41 trillion (in 1998 dollars) intergenerational transfer of wealth during the 55-year period from 1998 through 2052. For fundraising and financial professionals who wish to better understand and utilize this wealth transfer, this conference will explore (at a level of detail rarely offered) two fundamentally important ideas:

    1. The New Dynamics of Philanthropy: the idea that donors desire greater charitable involvement; and
    2. The Moral Biography of Wealth: the way individuals conscientiously combine two elements in daily life: personal capacity and moral compass.

    Paul Schervish and John Havens will discuss the supply (donor) side and the demand (charity and beneficiary) side of philanthropy in the 21st century. John Havens will provide context for discussion of these ideas by offering an overview of the $41 trillion wealth transfer. Paul Schervish will discuss important aspects of the supply and demand of philanthropy in the 21st century, and the distinctive traits of wealth holders. In his unique and effective style, Paul Schervish will elaborate and provide concrete examples of an innovative way of thinking, feeling and acting that constitutes the new physics of philanthropy. This includes how wealth holders seek (rather than resist) greater charitable involvement, approach their philanthropy with an entrepreneurial disposition, understand that caring for the needs of others is a path to self-fulfillment, and view philanthropy as a way to achieve simultaneously happiness for themselves and others.

    An equally important aspect of The Supply and Demand of Philanthropy in the 21st Century is the concept of the "moral biography". Paul Schervish will discuss and provide examples of the distinctive characteristics of a moral biography of wealth. Exploration of the moral biography of wealth highlights the philosophical foundations of major gifts by major donors and is a critical tool for anyone who is concerned with fundraising and financial planning. Over the course of two days you will learn the elements of the moral biography of wealth and how to encourage biographical conversations with clients and donors to generate a new dynamic in philanthropy and more personal, knowledgeable and successful client/donor relationships.

    In addition to Schervish and Havens a highly regarded vice president for advancement and a well respected financial professional will also provide insights and answer questions during the conference.

    We sincerely hope you can join us here at Boston College, October 7-8, 2008.

  • Suggested Reading
  • The following are suggestions for background reading regarding the topics to be covered at the conference:

    1) "Today's Wealth Holder and Tomorrow's Giving: The New Dynamics of Wealth and Philanthropy." Paul G. Schervish. Journal of Gift Planning. Vol. 9, no. 3. 3rd Quarter 2005. Pp. 15-37. Increasing numbers of individuals are approaching, achieving, or even exceeding their financial goals at younger and younger ages. A level of affluence that had been rare has come to characterize large groups and even whole cultures. In the context of an ongoing intergenerational transfer of wealth, the author examines demographic and spiritual trends that are motivating wealth holders to allocate an ever-greater portion of their financial resources to charity. Download Paper (PDF).

    2) "Why The Wealthy Give: Factors Which Mobilize Philanthropy Among High Net-Worth Individuals." Paul G. Schervish. The Routledge Companion to Nonprofit Marketing. Published Winter 2008. This article outlines the motivations of high net-worth individuals for philanthropy. Download Paper (PDF).

    3) "How do People Leave Bequests: Family or Philanthropic Organizations?" Paul G. Schervish and John J. Havens. In Alicia Munnell and Annika Sunden, (eds.), Death and Dollars, forthcoming Brookings Press. This paper presents an alternative paradigm to economic models of transfers, one which we have developed from our extensive ethnographic and survey research on charitable giving and which we call the identification theory. Download Paper (PDF).

    4) "The Modern Medici: Patterns, Motivations, and Giving Strategies of the Wealthy." Paul G. Schervish. This paper addresses three aspects of the relationship between wealth and philanthropy. Download Paper (PDF).

    5) "The Moral Biography of Wealth: Philosophical Reflections on the Foundation of Philanthropy." Paul G. Schervish. Published in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. Volume 35, No. 3, pp. 466-492. September 2006. Places the notion of a moral biography of wealth in historical context and suggests how advancement professionals can deepen their own moral biography by working to deepen the moral biography of their donors. Download Paper (PDF).

    6) "The Sense and Sensibility of Philanthropy as a Moral Citizenship of Care." Paul G. Schervish, (2005) Good Intentions: Moral Obstacles and Opportunities, David H. Smith (editor) Indiana University Press. The leading question of this paper is how to understand the moral dimensions of philanthropy as a spiritual sense and sensibility. The purpose is to elaborate a modestly integrated analysis of several aspects of philanthropy that make it a morally oriented behavior in the lives of donors. Download Paper (PDF).


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