An interesting interview in the Sunday Times with Dame Stephanie Shirley. Dame Stephanie has recently been appointed by Gordon Brown to be a 'philanthropy ambassador' (no I hadn't heard either...) It's an interesting article, with some good insight into one of Britain's biggest donors.
The part that made me think was this quote: "Shirley, 75, who made a fortune in information technology, criticised those among Britain's wealthiest who refused to give anything at all to charity. "We have to take the concept of philanthropy far, far wider," said Shirley, who plans to target everyone from the super-rich to schoolchildren. "My principle is that philanthropy is pleasure and it should be part of everybody's life." Shirley said she was already approaching financial advisers to apply pressure to those rich people who give "trivial amounts" or "a lot of high net worth people who don't give at all".
Should the wealthy be pressurised into giving or would it actually do more harm than good? I think if I was a multi-millionaire i'd feel slightly patronised and annoyed by someone telling me I should give more. Surely a far better way is to use your influence to demonstrate to other wealthy individuals the joy of giving and the benefits it brings to society .
You could make better use of psychological 'nudges' to persuade millionaires that they too should 'give something back'. Only when all these options fail should guilt, pressure and other tactics be employed.
Agree or disagree?
Should millionaires be compelled to give a certain percentage of their income away to charity every year?