New World Challenges Of Global Philanthropy
New World Challenges Of Global Philanthropy

Wealthy philanthropic families are now more geographically spread out and that creates logistical hurdles. Rifts can develop within families, separating family members by more than just distance. Family philanthropy is a fast-evolving area presenting opportunities for individuals, families, communities and the world.

According to a new report, “Global Family Philanthropy: Exploring Key Considerations For Giving Across Borders,” the world is shrinking for wealthy families. Family bonds and a family legacy are increasingly important. Family philanthropy on a coordinated, global scale is a natural answer. The 30-page report was issues by the Council on Foundations, BNY Mellon Wealth Management and Give2Asia.

“People feel good when they give and, despite differences in languages, religions and customs among countries, for the most part governments and religions encourage philanthropy,” according to the report’s authors. And, the most popular charitable causes are similar regardless of country or creed with helping those less fortunate is almost always at the top of the list, according to data in the study. 

Other key themes include supporting a specific religion, educational institution, or medical facility or disease. All focus on a public benefit, the report’s data shows. “Multinational families are encouraged and energized when they learn of this commonality. Suddenly, despite long distances and borders between family members, joint family philanthropy doesn’t seem so daunting,” according to the authors. 


During the next 30 to 40 years, wealthy families around the world will participate in the largest transfer of wealth in human history. According to Accenture, that transfer will total US$30 trillion in assets just in North America, according to data in the report.


The study’s results show that multinational families and charities need expert help. It starts with getting family members from multiple generations and in many time zones and cultures all committed and passionate. Ongoing guidance is needed as the family defines its mission, values and vision which will guide their philanthropic direction. Technical advice regarding structure, the place to which, for purposes of legal jurisdiction or taxation, a property belongs, and the mechanics of maintaining family philanthropy on an ongoing basis are clearly key. Expert advisors, from wealth managers to nonprofit staff, play a critical role.

You’ll find the complete study at https://www.cof.org/