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Books, Reports and Articles - 2005

center on wealth and philanthropy

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"Creating a Moral Biography of Wealth: A Conversation with Paul G. Schervish."
Creating a moral biography of wealth is a process that ultimately helps wealth-holders chart a path of greater happiness - for themselves, their families, and the world around them. Paul Schervish discusses this spiritual process of self-examination that goes well beyond portfolio analysis or financial tools in the Merrill Lynch Whitepaper, Creating a Moral Biography of Wealth: A Conversation with Paul G. Schervish. For the full text of this conversation please follow the link below.

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"Financial Resources and Charitable Contributions of Retired Households"
Retired households, on average, own 58% more wealth but earn 35% less income than non-retired households. On average they also contribute substantially more (69%) to charitable causes than do non-retired households.
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"Geography and Generosity: Boston and Beyond."
Paul Schervish and John J. Havens. Boston, Mass: Boston Foundation, 2005.
In September 2004, with funding form the Boston Foundation, the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College began a two-year study, Geography and Generosity: Boston and Beyond, focusing on individual generosity for regions, states, and metropolitan areas across the United States. This publication reports on the first year of research.

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"The Moral Biography of Wealth: Philosophical Reflections on the Foundation of Philanthropy."

Paul G. Schervish. Published in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. Volume 35, No. 3, pp. 477-492. September 2006.
Moral biography refers to the way all individuals conscientiously combine two elements in daily life: personal capacity and moral compass. Exploring the moral biography of wealth highlights the philosophical foundations of major gifts by major donors. First, the author provides several examples to elucidate his definition of moral biography. Second, he elaborates the elements of a moral biography. Third, he describes the characteristics that make one's moral biography a spiritual or religious biography. Fourth, he discusses the distinctive characteristics of a moral biography of wealth. Fifth, he suggests that implementing a process of discernment will enable development professionals to work more productively with donors. The author concludes by placing the notion of a moral biography of wealth in historical context and suggests how advancement professionals can deepen their own moral biography by working to deepen the moral biography of their donors.

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"North Dakota Wealth Transfer Study."
Paul G. Schervish and John J. Havens, Center on Wealth and Philanthropy. November 16, 2005.
The authors of this study have used a version of their Wealth Transfer Microsimulation Model (WTMM) specially calibrated to the state of North Dakota to derive findings concerning the level and distribution of household wealth, the amount and distribution of wealth transfer, and the amount and distribution of charitable giving in North Dakota.

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“Philanthropy's Indispensable Ally”
Paul G. Schervish, John Havens, and Albert Keith Whitaker. Philanthropy. Volume XIX, No. 3, pp. 8-9. May/June 2005.
Most observers now recognize that lifetime giving understandably increases as people move up the economic ladder. CWP research also suggests that it's not just the objective size of people's pocketbooks that matters but also their subjective sense of financial security. Financial security means trusting that, even in the face of major economic downturns, one's means will support one's desired standard of living for the indefinite future. For people who feel such security, philanthropic decisions really are different.

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"The Sense and Sensibility of Philanthropy as a Moral Citizenship of Care."
Paul G. Schervish, (2005) Good Intentions: Moral Obstacles and Opportunities, David H. Smith (editor) Indiana University Press.
The leading question of this paper is how to understand the moral dimensions of philanthropy as a spiritual sense and sensibility. The purpose is to elaborate a modestly integrated analysis of several aspects of philanthropy that make it a morally oriented behavior in the lives of donors.

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"Today's Wealth Holder and Tomorrow's Giving: The New Dynamics of Wealth and Philanthropy."
Paul G. Schervish. Journal of Gift Planning. Vol. 9, no. 3. 3rd Quarter 2005. Pp. 15-37.
Increasing numbers of individuals are approaching, achieving, or even exceeding their financial goals at younger and younger ages. A level of affluence that had been rare has come to characterize large groups and even whole cultures. In the context of an ongoing intergenerational transfer of wealth, the author examines demographic and spiritual trends that are motivating wealth holders to allocate an ever-greater portion of their financial resources to charity.

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