Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Boston College Sociologist Paul G. Schervish is one of the country’s prominent scholars of philanthropic studies. This August Schervish will be recognized for his contributions and presented with the 2013 ASA Distinguished Career Award.
Much of Schervish’s research relates to wealth transfer and philanthropy. In 2003, Schervish helped to found the Wealth & Giving Forum, a “peer-centered endeavor” designed to encourage wealthy families and individuals to “make more resources available for good causes.” The Wealth & Giving Forum seems to have adopted a “with great wealth comes great responsibility” approach to charitable solicitation and giving.
The structure of the Wealth & Giving Forum offers an interesting way for people to consider charitable giving in a very particular context. A brochure of the Wealth & Giving Forum explains, “The Wealth & Giving Forum is for high-net-worth individuals and families who want to harness their creativity and resources to meet the human, cultural, and environmental challenges of the 21st century.” Additionally, the Wealth & Giving Forum is “directed by and for wealth holders” and it operates by “invitation-only gatherings, regional and topical programs, and publications.”
Is there anything alarming about the exclusivity of the Wealth & Giving Forum’s approach? If so, is the exclusivity offset by the benefits derived from the Wealth & Giving Forum?