It’s Hard To Give Away Money- Charity Advisors Multiply

I’ve been meaning to blog this for a while–

Last week, the Wall Street Journal printed an article, “Paying Money To Donate Money (sub required),” which explores the emergence of charity advisors:

Now that donors have more charities to choose from, as well as more financial instruments with which to give away their dollars, wealthy philanthropists are increasingly hiring outside advisers to help. Those advisers can identify causes, vet charities and measure donors’ bang for the buck.

Here are a list of some of the consultants mentioned in the article:

Donor consulting is a growing business. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors in New York says its staff grew to 32 employees in 2006, from 15 when it was founded in 2002; it advised on $137 million in grants last year, up from $30 million in 2002. Geneva Global in Wayne, Pa., which focuses on initiatives in impoverished countries, helped clients give out $23.2 million in grants last year, up from $600,000 five years earlier. Atlanta-based Calvin Edwards & Co. has grown to 12 employees from one in 2001, while Arabella Philanthropic Investment Advisors, founded two years ago in Washington, D.C., is expanding to a new office in Chicago this week because of growing demand.

If you read the article, the charity advisory business begins to make a lot of sense, especially since many of the corporations and individual donors don’t have the time or the expertise to make informed decisions. I think it would also make a lot of sense to develop college or bschool extracurricular activities to provide charity advisory services. Students would gain valuable experience and donors could tap a large base of smart students interested in social enterprise.

1 comment

  1. As the article mentioned many wealthy individuals ask friends, or figure it out themselves about giving efficiently.
    The article did not mention that derivatives and trading strategies could be implemented to achieve best tax results.
    Aside from the charity advisors cited in the article, who are the other players in this “pay to give sector?” jjc

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