News and analysis
June 02, 2015

In 2nd ‘Gilded Age,’ Billionaires Are Giving With Legacies in Mind

Title: The 2015 Billionaires Report, "Billionaires: Master Architects of Great Wealth and Lasting Legacies"

Organization: UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers

Summary: The world is in a second "Gilded Age" of great wealth, and many of today’s billionaires, like their early 20th -century predecessors, view philanthropy as a way to establish their legacies, the report found.

The study was based on an examination of data pertaining to 1,300 billionaires in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Among the findings::

  • Billionaires are focused on giving to programs that provide "tangible and measurable" results, such as how many lives have been improved through their donations and seeing evidence of better health and living conditions. They also favor charitable efforts through microlending programs.
  • "Visible philanthropy," in which affluent people publicly promise to give away significant portions of their wealth, has become popular among U.S. billionaires. The study cited the more than 100 billionaires who have signed the Giving Pledge, agreeing to donate at least 50 percent of their wealth to charity.

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