How Billionaires Can Make More Impact With Their Donations
Philanthropy’s deepest-pocketed donors often short-change the causes they claim to care about the most. That’s because while the majority of the world’s wealthiest givers have expressed interest in solving complex social issues like poverty, educational inequity, environmental degradation, and human rights abuses, only 20% follow through with funding of $10 million or more to actually try to create some fundamental change.
In philanthropic industry parlance, that reluctance even has its own term: “the aspiration gap.” As Bridgespan partner William Foster, whose nonprofit and philanthropist consultancy coined that term, puts it: The ambition of philanthropists to put “meaningful amounts of money to move meaningful change into the toughest social problem is as present or more present than ever. The difficulty [for most] is figuring out how to do it.” Many donors simply aren’t aware of all the potential social impact strategies they might deploy.