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What Makes People Generous: Charity, Empathy, And Storytelling

Tom WatsonContributor

ENTREPRENEURS 6/30/2014 @ 3:33PM 618 views

What Makes People Generous: Charity, Empathy, And Storytelling

Two weeks ago, the annual Giving USA report showed that American philanthropycontinues to climb out of the trough of the Great Recession, one of the real lagging indicators of the economy. And while U.S. philanthropy has been roughly static at two percent of GDP for a couple of generations now, overall capacity of donors remains high, even through downturns.

The challenge for causes, fundraisers, nonprofit executives, social entrepreneurs and concerned board members everywhere remains “how?” – how best to tap that steady vein of generosity in this society which, even if fairly flat, remains constant and deep.

A couple of reports that crossed my desk over the past few weeks provide some new insight, and should be of interesting to folks in the philanthropic sector.

One  is called I’m Moral, But I Won’t Help You: The Distinct Roles of Empathy and Justice in Donations, and it focuses on the results of an academic study of 600 people run through four different charitable scenarios. In one, for example, participants were asked to choose “between donating to medical patients described alternately as having a low level of responsibility for their situations and those having a high level of responsibility.” Recipients of donations in the group were described either as unable to pay for medical treatment because of “low-wage jobs with poor benefits due to economic conditions” or unable to pay for treatment because of inability “to hold a steady job due to their drug and alcohol abuse or gambling addiction” – in shorter terms, not their fault and their fault.

Read more at

http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomwatson/2014/06/30/what-makes-people-generous-charity-empathy-and-story-telling/print/

 

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KB Kee is the Managing Editor of the Moat Report Asia (www.moatreport.com), a research service focused exclusively on highlighting undervalued wide-moat businesses in Asia; subscribers from North America, Europe, the Oceania and Asia include professional value investors with over $20 billion in asset under management in equities, some of the world’s biggest secretive global hedge fund giants, and savvy private individual investors who are lifelong learners in the art of value investing. KB has been rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as an analyst in Asian capital markets. He was head of research and fund manager at a Singapore-based value investment firm. As a member of the investment committee, he helped the firm’s Asia-focused equity funds significantly outperform the benchmark index. He was previously the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. KB has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy, value investing, macroeconomic and industry trends, and detecting accounting frauds in Singapore, HK and China. KB was a faculty (accounting) at SMU teaching accounting courses. KB is currently the Chief Investment Officer at an ASX-listed investment holdings company since September 2015, helping to manage the listed Asian equities investments in the Hidden Champions Fund. Disclaimer: This article is for discussion purposes only and does not constitute an offer, recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any investments, securities, futures or options. All articles in the website reflect the personal opinions of the writer.

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