Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's Not the Same Old Philanthropy

Private bankers and wealth managers have noticed that the new rich want to use some of their wealth to support good works.

The New Money favors hands-on philanthropy. Where the Old Money might merely underwrite a new gym at his or her college, Andre Agassi has launched his own school, Agassi Prep. Tiger Woods' tournament win last Sunday generated another million dollars plus for his Learning Centers, in which he takes justifiable pride.

If a member of the New Money considers supporting good works not organized personally, he or she wants to know the funds will be spent efficiently. The New York Times profiles two ex-hedgies who quit their jobs and now work for walking-around money in order to facilitate that effort:
As hedge-fund analysts, Holden Karnofsky and Elie Hassenfeld made six-figure incomes deciding which companies to invest in. Now they are doing the same thing with charities, for a lot less pay.

Mr. Karnofsky and Mr. Hassenfeld, both 26, are the founders and sole employees of GiveWell, which studies charities in particular fields and ranks them on their effectiveness. GiveWell is supported by a charity they created, the Clear Fund, which makes grants to charities they recommend in their research.

Their efforts are shaking up the field of philanthropy, generating the kind of buzz more typically devoted to Bill Gates and Warren E. Buffett, as charities ponder what, if anything, their rigorous approach to evaluation means for the future.
You can sample of new-wave style of their venture on The GiveWell Blog.

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