Alleviating Global Poverty: Catalysts of Change

Alleviating Global Poverty: Catalysts of Change

News (International)

A global study from Forbes Insights, supported by Credit Suisse, entitled "Alleviating Global Poverty: Catalysts of Change" follows the second annual Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy and finds desire for systemic changes at the highest levels.

The study finds that philanthropists harbor large ambitions in terms of the problem of global poverty, and the most effective path ahead may entail coordination of efforts. The global study, which surveyed 317 individuals with investable assets of $1 million or more, explores the question of how a philanthropist can best help mitigate global poverty.

The study is one of the most in-depth surveys ever conducted of global philanthropists regarding their views on alleviating global poverty, as well as their personal philanthropic approaches and practices. In addition, the study reflects interviews with prominent global philanthropists, furthering the discussion around global poverty initiated during this summer’s second annual Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy.

Key findings include:

• Ambitions run high, with 73% of philanthropists saying they want to see pattern changes at the highest levels, as they seek to affect international or government policies right at the start of their giving. A problem as huge as global poverty can be alleviated only by systemic change.

• Forty-eight percent of survey respondents agree that there are too many overlapping organizations within the non-profit sector. While individual philanthropists often want to make their own imprint, the most effective approach for a philanthropist tackling global poverty may be to join forces with other experienced philanthropists or organizations, or to become a "venture philanthropist" by seeding the initiatives of others.

• The largest percentage of respondents (42%) focus on targeted and local giving, 29% focus on global giving and the remaining 29% on either or both. Among philanthropists with investable assets of more than $50 million, 40% say they focus on global issues.

• The research shows that philanthropy can be viewed as a portfolio, with some assets devoted to global initiatives—which entail systemic change and have longer turnarounds—and some to local initiatives, which can have a necessary, immediate impact. Roughly the same number of philanthropists surveyed (26% and 23%, respectively) define success as focus on long-term impact and as alleviating physical suffering or meeting immediate needs.

Download the study here

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