Schwabification of Philanthropy

Carla.gif PhilanthroMedia columnist Carla Dearing has a "Thought Leaders" feature in this issue of Worth Magazine (February 2007) on the "Schwabification of Philanthropy." In it, she states:

I’ve heard countless reasons why the charitable marketplace can’t be driven by user-friendly, well-packaged, relevant, current, searchable data sources and analytics that high net worth donors would use to inform their charitable strategy. But mark my words -- this market void will be filled, because wealth management providers and savvy public charities are coming to understand that it is absolutely essential to their value equation. Ironically, the blueprint for how philanthropy will serve high net worth donors tomorrow comes directly from models that define financial services as we know it today. Carla boils these down to:

"The Schwabification of Philanthropy-- While the Fidelity Gift Fund and its imitators are making donor advised funds cheaper and cheaper, the next round goes to the company whose infrastructure delivers real value (i.e. tools and information) to philanthropic strategists."

"Goldman Sachs-Style” Philanthropy -- As we know from watching the 'Schwabification' of the financial services industry, there will always be demand for value-added intermediaries. If, for example, you want to know where the best deals are being made, you go to Goldman. The same will become true for players in the philanthropic market that add unique value by demonstrating better investment processes, research and relationships. Such guidance is imperative for larger charitable investments. A handful of leading community foundations and other public charities such as the Acumen Fund and the Tides Foundation have begun re-tooling to focus on these value-added elements but the dominant player has yet to emerge. "

The article isn't available via the web so pick it up on your newstand. PhilanthroMedia also done an audiocast on these ideas with Carla. Check out this tightly-edited, eight-minute piece.

Susan Herr

Posted at 1:17 PM, Feb 05, 2007 in High Net Worth Donors | Scaling Philanthropy | Permalink | Comment