I’m Not Rockefeller: Implications for Major Foundations Seeking to Engage Ultra- High-Net-Worth Donors

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  • This article describes how a group of 33 ultrahigh- net-worth philanthropists (UHNWPs) approach their giving.
  • A few key areas dominated their giving priorities: education; health; poverty and social welfare; and children/youth initiatives each were a priority for more than a quarter of participants – with education expressed as an interest of 55 percent.
  • A third of the 24 who responded to the question spent less than 10 percent of their full working time devoted to philanthropy, and 13 dedicated less than 20 percent of their working time.
  • UHNWPs view their peers as their most trusted information resource. After peers, the most commonly cited source of information was the popular press.
  • UHNWPs typically are ambivalent or uncertain about the value of evaluation.
  • Partnerships between organized philanthropy and UHNWPs has potential benefits for both, if barriers of job responsibilities, training, communication styles and vocabulary can be overcome.

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