Multi-generational missions in philanthropy are in the fabric of many family businesses. Activities tend to be directed either through a family foundation, directly through the business or in association with the family office. A new Campden Research study will look at wealth holder attitudes towards time-limited charitable giving.
Working with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Campden Research plans to survey a global cross-section of philanthropists who give upwards of $2 million a year to good causes in an inaugural study. Researchers will seek to understand perceptions, attitudes and knowledge of time-limited philanthropy around the world.
Time-limited philanthropy means completing the philanthropic activity within a specific, defined timeframe. It may involve spending-down or spending-out the philanthropic assets or giving while living where the wealth holder completes the philanthropic activity within one’s lifetime.
Giving in perpetuity refers to a vehicle, such as a foundation, with no envisioned or codified endpoint, not subject to termination. This is by far the most common strategy. Some in perpetuity strategies can also include a time-limited component.
For some philanthropists, a time-limited strategy will help them develop clearly defined goals and provide greater transparency than giving in-perpetuity. Some believe though that by spending all the assets over a short period, this restricts the ability to tackle future, potentially unforeseen, issues.
For multi-generational business families finding the right fit will be important. While a ‘giving while living’ strategy makes sure the donor’s intent is protected, a foundation in perpetuity may strengthens family purpose and values. Impact investing as well can tackle many of the issues that philanthropy cannot.
Dr Rebecca Gooch (pictured above), director of Campden Research, said most foundations are set up in perpetuity, which means that effectively the foundation would continue forever.
However, “there is currently a lot more interest in setting a time horizon or time-limit to your philanthropy. This is partly as several big foundations have been showcasing this model.”
Anyone who participates in philanthropy of more than $2 million a year and would like to get involved is invited to call Campden Research on +44 203 763 2808 and email firstname.lastname@example.org.