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Very rich pickings

Why do rich people give? It is a question that has intrigued Theresa Lloyd for almost 20 years since she began soliciting donations from millionaires as part of her job at Save the Children.

As director of Philanthropy philanthropy, the spirit of active goodwill toward others as demonstrated in efforts to promote their welfare. The term is often used interchangeably with charity.  UK, a project set up by the Association of Charitable Foundations to promote charitable giving particularly among higher earners, she interviewed 76 people - 80% of them male - worth between £5m and £100m to find out what motivates them to donate to good causes.

Unfortunately, there are almost as many reasons as there are philanthropists. Charities hoping for a 10-point plan to target City whizkids will be disappointed. Internet entrepreneur An Internet Entrepreneur is a person that engages in business on the internet and helps to shape the future of business on the internet by being an innovator. One who is able to recognize opportunity and administer resources to take advantage of the opportunities.  Peter Dawe, who sunk £6m into a charitable trust The arrangement by which real or Personal Property given by one person is held by another to be used for the benefit of a class of persons or the general public.  when he sold his company Pipex for £36m, and venture capitalist Venture Capitalist

An investor who provides capital to either start-up ventures or support small companies who wish to expand but do not have access to public funding.

Notes:
Venture capitalists usually expect higher returns for the additional risks taken.
 Stephen Dawson Stephen Dawson (born 4 December 1985 in Dublin) is an Irish footballer. He currently plays for English League Two side Mansfield Town. He usually plays in central midfield, but has also occasionally played in a more wide role on the right wing. , who, having made millions backing small businesses, is now backing small charities, are among the interviewees.

Their comments, like everyone else's in Lloyd's book, are annonymously attributed. But they have spoken to Society Guardian about what makes them tick. For Dawe, who grew up in a council house, it is a desire to "change the world". He says: "I thought about going into politics, but decided you needed to be financially independent to change things."

Dawe's money has funded the Internet Watch Foundation The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is a UK organisation that aims to find, remove and facilitate the blocking of access to illegal content on the internet. It works in partnership with the police, Government, major Internet service providers and the wider online industry and is , set up to hinder hin·der 1  
v. hin·dered, hin·der·ing, hin·ders

v.tr.
1. To be or get in the way of.

2. To obstruct or delay the progress of.

v.intr.
 abuse on the internet; the Pivot Institute, a thinktank that influenced government on ways to tackle the poverty trap poverty trap
Noun

the situation of being unable to raise one's living standard because any extra income would result in state benefits being reduced or withdrawn

Noun 1.
; and an alternative development plan for Cambridge new town.

In contrast, Dawson, 57, created the Impetus Trust, to avoid spending his retirement on the golf course. "There was no particular cause that thrust itself in my face," he explains. "I just wanted to use money most effectively and transfer my skills as a venture capitalist to build charities' capacity." The trust will be making its first investments in a learning disability and a homeless charity.

Whereas the richest people donate 13% of their annual wealth in the US, the giving figure in Britain is around 2.3%. Negative attitudes to wealth and charitable giving perpetuated by the UK media is one reason cited for this. Another is our less favourable tax regime.

Lloyd singles out the City as key to promoting philanthrophy among the new wealthy by encouraging staff to pledge a percentage of their income. But she concludes: "We learn that there is no single route to strengthening a culture of giving."

· Why Rich People Give, price £15, is available at www.philanthropyuk.org
Copyright 2004 guardian.co.uk
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Author:guardian.co.uk
Publication:guardian.co.uk
Date:Jul 7, 2004
Words:410
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