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Risk and Philanthropy

May 1, 2012

This paper examines how risks in international development philanthropy are defined, assessed and managed. It reports the conclusions from a series of 27 interviews conducted with development philanthropists, philanthropic intermediaries, grant makers from leading international foundations and sector academics in April 2012. Those interviewed are working in more than 10 different countries across five continents, including Singapore, Brazil, the Netherlands, USA, UK, India, Russia, Kenya and Indonesia. It recommends ways through which risk in the support of development initiatives might be optimised. Our findings will be of interest to philanthropists, grantmakers and those they seek to benefit.

Family, HNWI, and independent philanthropy

Donor Commitment - What Is It, What Drives It and Why Does It Matter?

February 1, 2005

Profs Adrian Sargeant and Paul Farthing discuss their study on donor commitment in the United Kingdom. Most charities aim to have the maximum possible number of 'committed' givers on their donor database: those who agree to give on a regular basis through their bank. For charities, those donors tend to exhibit high retention rates, cost less in terms of ongoing communications, and therefore return a high lifetime value. However, recent findings show that the commitment of donors may not be for the long term. Working with five charities, the authors attempted to define and measure donor commitment, determine what drives it, and to identify the impact of commitment on perceived and actual donor loyalty. A key lesson is that a charity should look at the donors attitudes and actual behavior to assess a donor's commitment.

Family, HNWI, and independent philanthropy

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