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Books, Reports, and Articles - 2010

Center on Wealth and Philanthropy

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"Center on Wealth and Philanthropy Giving Model: Forecast for 2009"by John J. Havens and Paul G. Schervish in Advancing Philanthropy Magazine, January/February 2010.

For the large diverse populations, such as that of the United States, household charitable giving is most strongly and consistently related to household income and wealth. Most national and state estimates of future charitable giving are based in large part on macro or micro values of income and wealth. Researchers can measure how changes in income and wealth, for example during the 2008-2009 recession, affect changes in charitable giving only when date on financial resources and their valuation become available. Fortunately, some of this financial information becomes available on a preliminary basis each quarter. However, there are no quarterly data on charitable giving. To date, researchers have been unable to generate estimates of household charitable giving (and their relationship to income and wealth) in as timely a way as may be useful for charities. Charities naturally would like to know estimates of charitable giving, for example, for the most recent quarter and to receive projections for the near future.

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"Center on Wealth and Philanthropy Individual Giving Model" by John J. Havens and Paul G. Schervish in Advancing Philanthropy Magazine, July/August 2010.

The Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College estimates that individual charitable giving in 2009 amounted to $217.3 billion, a decline of $11.2 billion (4.90 percent) from our estimate of $228.5 billion in 2008. Adjusting for inflation in 2009, our estimate of $228.5 billion in 2008 dollars amounts to $227.9 billion in 2009 dollars and results in a decline of $10.6 billion or 4.65 percent.  This is in addition to the center's calculation of inflation-adjusted decline from 2007 to 2008 of 6.1 percent.  This represents a total decline in inflation adjusted dollars of $25.3 billion from 2007 to 2009.

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"Migration of Wealth in New Jersey and the Impact on Wealth and Philanthropy"

In the first half of the decade 1999 - 2008, the net effect of migration for New Jersey resulted in a substantial increase in both household wealth and charitable capacity. In the second half, the direction of flow was reversed. The net effect of household migration resulted in a loss of substantial household wealth and expected amounts of charitable giving. The change was due mostly to a large decline in the number of wealthy households entering New Jersey between 2004 - 2008 and a moderate increase in the outflow of wealthy households leaving New Jersey. The result of the net loss in wealth was a net loss in charitable capacity, making it more difficult for charitable causes to raise money from New Jersey households.

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"Religious Discernment of Philanthropic Decisions in the Age of Affluence"

My focus here will be on a religious discernment process as a guide for wealth holders in the allocation of their wealth. The hope is that religious discernment – as a key element of religious giving – will shape the spiritual horizons of wealth and philanthropy to the same extent that findings on the ongoing wealth transfer are shaping the material horizons…

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Wealth and the Will of God

by Paul G. Schervish and Keith Whitaker

The Center on Wealth and Philanthropy is pleased to announce the release of a new book co-authored by Paul G. Schervish and Keith Whitaker,Wealth and the Will of God, published by Indiana University Press. The book looks at some of the spiritual resources of the Christian tradition that can aid serious reflection on wealth and giving. Beginning with Aristotle-who is crucial for understanding later Christian thought-the book discusses Aquinas, Ignatius, Luther, Calvin, and Jonathan Edwards. Though the ideas vary greatly, the chapters are organized to facilitate comparisons among these thinkers on issues of ultimate purposes or aspirations of human life; on the penultimate purposes of love, charity, friendship, and care; on the resources available to human beings in this life; and finally on ways to connect and implement in practice our identified resources with our ultimate ends.

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