Center on Wealth and Philanthropy
Wealth and the Commonwealth Newsletter, Volume 18 December 2009

Contents

Charitable Outlook:Funders and Fundraisers Take Stock

Forbes Magazine: "Huge Wave In Charitable Giving Still Coming"

America's Looming Philanthropic Revolution

Wealth Transfer and Philanthropy: An Interview with Paul G. Schervish, PhD, and John J. Havens.


 


Dear Friends and Colleagues:

I hope this newsletter finds you in good health and in good spirits.

In today's newsletter, I wanted to share with you some recent articles on the Center's research work published over the last year.

The first article summarizes some important issues raised and discussed during the 2nd Annual Boston College/AFP Conference Wealth and Giving in the Current Economic Crisis in June, 2009.

The next article is one which appeared in Forbes Magazine, in October, 2009, where John Havens and I were asked to comment on the accuracy of the huge intergenerational transference of wealth estimate (which we had estimated and still believe to be at $41 trillion dollars).

The third article, appearing in Investments and Wealth Monitor in their September/October 2009 issue, includes our analysis of the intergenerational wealth transfer and motivations behind charitable giving.

Lastly, I have included my comments given to the GenSpring Family Offices Family Symposium in 2007 and published in 2008 which addressed patterns and motivations of charitable giving and 'the new physics of philanthropy'.

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.

May you and yours receive the blessings of your holiday.

Cordially yours,

Paul Schervish


  • Charitable Outlook:Funders and Fundraisers Take Stock
  • by Dave Denison
    Boston College Magazine
    Spring 2009

    Toward the end of an annual conference at Boston College on the state of philanthropy, sociologist Paul Schervish paused to reflect. During last year's conference, held in October, the Dow Jones stock market index dropped 500 points, he told the audience. Schervish asked if anyone knew today's market report.

    "Down 65," someone in the room called out.

    Schervish, who directs Boston College's Center on Wealth and Philanthropy (CWP) and its multidisciplinary research into charitable giving, looked momentarily disappointed. "I was hoping maybe this time, because of our conference, it would go back up 500 points," he mused.

    Click here to read the full article...
  • Forbes Magazine: "Huge Wave In Charitable Giving Still Coming"
  • by Richard C. Morais, October 2, 2009

    With the trillions in real estate and stock market wealth that has been lost over the last two years, it is easy to lose sight of a trend that is continuing below the surface of the turmoil: the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in our nation's history.

    "The downturn is not going to keep people from dying, and it is not going to keep a wealth transfer from occurring," says Paul Schervish, director of The Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College.

    In 1998, Schervish and John Havens, associate director of the CWP, published a groundbreaking study analyzing "final estates"--that is, those in which there is no surviving spouse. The two scholars predicted that between 1998 and 2052, $41 trillion was going to be disbursed to four groups of beneficiaries: non-spousal heirs, government (through estate and inheritance taxes), philanthropic causes and the settlement "industry" (lawyers, trust administrators, bankers, etc.). Due to this unprecedented wealth transfer, Schervish and Havens have been predicting a "golden age of philanthropy."

    Click here to read the full article...
  • America's Looming Philanthropic Revolution
  • Following is a summary of comments shared by Paul G. Schervish at the GenSpring Family Offices 2007 Family Symposium, October 30, 2007, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    As the director of the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College, Paul G. Schervish has been researching charitable giving, wealth, spirituality, and philanthropy for more than two decades. Much of Paul's research focuses on charitable giving and volunteering; the Center focuses more broadly on the forms, trends, and motives surrounding the meaning and practice of care in our contemporary age of affluence.

    To provide some historical perspective, Paul offered highlights from an essay published in 1930 by John Maynard Keynes, the well-known British economist revered as one of the fathers of macroeconomics. In writing about the economic possibilities for his grandchildren, Keynes predicted that, by the next hundred years, for whole groups of people, whole classes of people, the economic problem of scarcity will have been solved. There will be whole groups and classes from which the issues of how to accumulate more wealth will no longer be, and the primary question will shift to how to use wealth as an instrument.

    Ckick here to read the full article ...
  • Wealth Transfer and Philanthropy: An Interview with Paul G. Schervish, PhD, and John J. Havens.
  • As published in Investments & Wealth Monitor

    September/October 2009

    Wealthy individuals contribute to philanthropic causes for a variety of reasons. In June 2009, Investments & Wealth Monitor asked Paul G. Schervish, PhD, and John J. Havens to describe the primary motivators behind wealth transfers.

    Click here to read the full article ...
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