Need for Global Philanthropy Extremely Urgent - Report
24 April 2014 at 11:04 am
Many global high net worth individuals describe the worldwide need for more philanthropic giving as ‘urgent’, according to the Individual Philanthropy Index from BNP Paribas Wealth Management.
More than 400 High Net Worth Individuals, with assets above $US5 million, replied to a survey conducted by Forbes Insight. The answers were analysed using three main criteria: giving, innovation and the effort invested to promote their causes.
According to the majority of philanthropists overall (56 per cent ) the need for philanthropy in the world is extremely urgent ranking it 8 or above on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being Not Urgent at All and 10 being Extremely Urgent. Just 3 per cent of philanthropists believe it’s not urgent.
However, more respondents from the US (64 per cent ) and the Middle East (61 per cent ) see the world as in extreme need of philanthropy. The US and the Middle East are in tandem also because they perceive their own countries as being in more urgent need than the rest of the world .
Commitment measurement of individual philanthropists, according to the 2014 BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index, reveals that the US, Europe and Asia are roughly halfway to a philanthropic ideal and the Middle East seems to be about a third of the way there.
Among the top causes in the world, respondents from Europe, Asia and the Middle East cite the environment, whereas health is the predominant cause for the US — a cause cited as top cause in 2013. This year the question asks about both local and global causes, and health remains the top local cause. The Middle East and the US also stand out by selecting social change as one of the top three issues for philanthropy in the world.
Barbara Ibrahim, founding director of the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement, at the American University in Cairo, explains why respondents from the Middle East feel so strongly about the level of urgency: “Philanthropy is a basic value in Arab and Muslim culture. It is reinforced by the religious edict that all believers must give a portion of their wealth, however small, to those less fortunate. In that sense, giving is almost ‘written in the DNA’ of people in this part of the world.”
She also comments on the similarities between the US and the Middle East: “The United States is still a deeply religious country, with high proportions of adults attending church and giving through religious institutions. I think this is a major common feature between the US and the Middle East.”