There’s studies that show that as people start to give their money or time away to some sort of charity that the money tends to come back to them even more so. There’s lots of “eerie” stories of random charity coming back (eg. giving $5 to a hobo and then finding a $20 on the street an hour later). But there also seems to be the side effects of charity, perhaps being at some charity dinner gets you to network with a) people doing well enough that can afford to give and b) people that don’t have a greedy mentality are likely better people to connect with. Charity seems more of the “standard” than “exception” for the mega-rich – Gates, Buffett, and Dell’s donations are in the multiple billions at this point.
What I’m more interested in is how it was on the rise. Did Gates give $100k when he made his first million? Bezos currently has over $100 billion and is known for not donating hardly anything (or at least not publicly – there are certainly anonymous donors that actually keep their mouth shut).
Gates didn’t start major donations until 2000, and there’s evidence that Andrew Carnegie started the whole “how much can you give away” competition with JP Morgan, John D Rockefeller and others shows that giving away funds tends to be something that’s done AFTER it’s accumulated. But interestingly enough Gates net worth increased $33B from 2000 (when he started donating a lot) to $92B in 2018. Interestingly, I can’t find any business leader that gave away significant funds and then later went and stayed bankrupt.
Poor people tend to be more generous – maybe this is just another reason they’re poor? Perhaps during a plane crash, you’ve got to put the air mask on yourself first and then help others.
1) Most mega rich people tend to be charitable
2) They tend to get wealthier during the periods of giving away money (Exception: Carnegie went from $475M to only $30M at death)
We don’t know:
1) If anyone that’s is a big donor today was donating on their rise to fortune
2) If there’s any correlation whatsoever with charity and future wealth
I believe there’s benefit in strategic (selfish?) charity that has an end goal.
If you play the lotto, you may win but if not, you fix schools in your state since that’s where most of the lotto money goes.
If you give to your friends that need money, they’re likely the most deserving people in your life.
If you give to your local shelter, it keeps dirty hobos off the street (and from mugging you) and makes your property values rise which will be great when you decide to sell.
If you give to local university, it may attract more students, which bring their parents money with them to help stimulate the local economy and support your vape shop business.
I think giving in a way where you expect nothing in return but can potentially see a way that it benefits more than just the recipient is an interesting way to consider charity.