subscribe to careers
News  | 

Most Philanthropists Want to Remain Anonymous

Thursday, 30th May 2013 at 10:34 am
Staff Reporter
Most philanthropists would rather not publicise their giving or actively promote their causes, according to a report by Forbes Insights.

Thursday, 30th May 2013
at 10:34 am
Staff Reporter



Most Philanthropists Want to Remain Anonymous
Thursday, 30th May 2013 at 10:34 am

Most philanthropists would rather not publicise their giving or actively promote their causes, according to a report by Forbes Insights

The BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index: Measuring Commitment in Europe, Asia, Middle East found 77 per cent of survey respondents said they either insist on remaining anonymous or do not actively publicise their charity.

Described as the first index of its kind, the BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index by Forbes Insights measures the commitment of individual philanthropists from Europe, the Middle East and Asia in terms of three main criteria: the amounts given, innovation and the effort invested to promote their causes.

The data for the index is derived from a survey of more than 300 individuals—divided equally among the three regions and with at least $5 million in investable assets—conducted by Forbes Insights between January and March 2013.

Additional interviews with ultra-wealthy philanthropists in these regions were conducted by Forbes Insights.

The survey found motivations for giving vary vastly by region, and are embedded in regional cultures and histories.

In the Middle East, religious faith is the top motivation (63%). In Asia, it’s the desire to give back to society (25%). In Europe, it’s equally family legacy, altruistic desire and a sense of duty (17% each).

The commitment measurement of individual philanthropists reveals Europe and Asia are at a halfway mark in their progress toward total commitment to individual philanthropy, while the Middle East is roughly a third of the way there, according to the BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index.

“While the lower score in the Middle East presents an apparent paradox in light of the Islamic imperative toward charitable giving, this might be partly explained by the religious injunction to be discreet about one’s giving,” the report said.
Promotion is one of the factors measured by the Index.

The Index looked at promotion as a means to help the cause. None of the regions studied are even halfway there in terms of the reach of the maximum score.

The Middle East is the region where philanthropists are the most averse to talking about their philanthropy, scoring just 5.4 out of a possible 25 points. Europe is the most open region, scoring 10.4; Asia scores a slightly lower 9.8.

Sixty percent of survey respondents from the Middle East said that they insisted on anonymity about their giving, as compared with 38 per cent in Europe and 26 per cent in Asia.

Even though Europe has the highest promotion score, talking about your own giving is somewhat controversial.

“In Europe, for French, German or Belgian people, it’s still really personal. It’s bad manners [to herald one’s donations],” explains Nathalie Sauvanet, Head of Individual Philanthropy at BNP Paribas Wealth Management.

She says that people are just now beginning to feel more at ease when addressing peers about philanthropy, showing a bit less reluctance in this situation than in discussing their charities with the press or the general public.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at

Get more stories like this


Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Philanthropists Challenged to Measure Performance and Impact

Luke Michael

Thursday, 6th September 2018 at 8:39 am

Tapping Ambitious Philanthropy

Andrew Cairns

Thursday, 2nd August 2018 at 7:30 am

A Philanthropic Matchmaker


Thursday, 22nd June 2017 at 8:24 am

What Is the Role of Funders in Social Impact Matters?

Alan Kay

Wednesday, 15th March 2017 at 8:10 am


NDIS not yet in tune with the needs of participants

Luke Michael

Monday, 20th January 2020 at 4:46 pm

What impact will the bushfire crisis have on homelessness?

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 15th January 2020 at 4:28 pm

The rise (and scepticism) of Facebook fundraisers

Maggie Coggan

Thursday, 16th January 2020 at 8:49 am

Bushfire resources for people with disability


Wednesday, 15th January 2020 at 4:54 pm

subscribe to careers
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!