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CAF is one of Europe’s largest charitable foundations. We produce research on charities and charitable giving, develop policy ideas and work with people, companies and charities to help good causes thrive.

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Wealthy young philanthropists want to bridge gap between rich and poor - new report

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28 November 2012

The next generation of wealthy young philanthropists want to use their money to bridge the gap between rich and poor, according to a major new global survey.

Nearly half (44%) of wealthy under 30s pointed to the gap between rich and poor as the biggest problem facing society today - compared with fewer than a third (28%) of the over 45s, according to the report by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), which promotes charitable giving and provides financial services and social finance to not-for-profit organisations.

Young philanthropists, under 30, in six nations said they want to get personally involved with the charitable causes they care about – with a third saying getting personally involved in a cause mattered to them, compared with 16% of over 45s surveyed.

The Future Stars of Philanthropy report is based on a global survey by wealth consultancy Scorpio Partnerships, which surveyed 1,428 people, each with an average net worth of more than £1.5m in the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Singapore and Malaysia. It looked at money attitudes of those under 30 and those over 45.

It found that people born between 1980 and 1999 –  known as the Y-Givers – were most interested in the gap between the rich and the poor and education causes. Whereas those over 45 – known as Generation X -preferred to give to causes supporting the older generation.

They were also keen to get involved in the social side of giving, with nearly two out of five (38%) younger donors getting involved in giving circles where people collectively give to a specific cause.

Key findings of the survey include:

  • 44% of under 30s rated the gap between rich and poor as the most important issue facing society -  compared with 28% of the over 45s.
  • 30% of under 30s rated poor standards of education as the most important issue facing society -  compared with 26% of the over 45s.
  • 29% of under 30s rated corruption as the most important issue facing society -  compared with 25% of the over 45s.
  • A quarter (25%) of under 30s rated climate change as the most important issue facing society -  compared with 20% of the over 45s.
  • A third (33%) of under 30s say getting personally involved in a cause matters to them – compared with 16% of the over 45s.

The research found that wealthy people under 30 gave $10,196 (approx £6,409) on average in 2009-2010 –   $3,000 (approx £1,866) more than those over 45, who gave on average of $7,382 (approx £4,640).

Director of Philanthropy, John Canady from the Charities Aid Foundation, said: "Many charities globally are facing a squeeze in income and pressure on their services in these tough times. Donations from the world's wealthiest people are vital to ensure that charities can continue the work which supports some of the most vulnerable in society.

"Our report shows that there is a group of wealthy young professionals who want to roll up their sleeves, get involved and really make a profound difference to the causes they care about.

"We need to make sure that government and business leaders do all they can to encourage young entrepreneurs and professionals to get involved and back charities with finance and expertise."

The research on wealthy young philanthropists, which is being rolled out in three parts, is one of the most comprehensive studies published into giving attitudes among some of the world's wealthiest young people, many of whom are already millionaires.

In total, 5,795 people were surveyed for the three reports from the UK, the USA, Canada, India, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Case studies include:

Adam Pike, co-founder of the group Young Philanthropy, who said: “My friend Michael Harris and I were inspired by the ‘Giving Pledge’ of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. But as young graduates we wanted to find a way to maximise what we were able to give.

“We created Young Philanthropy, a giving syndicate to make the most of each individual donation and with the mission to introduce the next generation to a lifetime of giving and developing their potential as future philanthropists.”

Entrepreneur Tara Nash-King, who has established a £10,000 charitable trust fund: “Community is key to me. I think that was lost in the last generation. I am always looking for ways to put people back in touch with each other.”

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