Books, Reports and Articles - 1998
center on wealth and philanthropy
"By Their Fruits, Shall We Know Them?: Comparing Philosophy of Giving to Actual Behavior."
Laura M. Leming and John J. Havens. Presented at the 1998 annual meeting of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, Seattle, Nov. 5-7, 1998.
This paper is an extension of the analysis of Boston College Social Welfare Research Institute "Boston Area Diary Study" (BADS) wherein participants were interviewed weekly for a year about their charitable giving and volunteering. The "BADS" study provides a unique opportunity to compare respondents' answers to four open-ended questions about their philosophy of giving with their actual contributions of time and money. This paper reports the qualitative analysis of this comparison.
"Embarking on a Republic of Benevolence: New Survey Findings on Charitable Giving."
Paul G. Schervish and John J. Havens. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 27, no. 2 (June 1998): 237-242.
In this article, the authors provide a tentative answer to a vexing statistical question about the level of charitable giving in the United States: Why does the Independent Sector's (IS) "Survey of Giving and Volunteering" consistently estimate personal contributions to nonprofit organizations to be 65% to 75% lower than corresponding estimates reported by the American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel (AAFRC)?
"The High Giving Poor: Who are the Low Income People Who Make High Contributions?"
Anthony J. Savoie and John J. Havens. Presented at the 1998 annual meeting of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, Seattle, Nov. 5-7, 1998.
Based on empirical analysis, this paper describes the group of relatively low income individuals and families who contribute large proportions of their income to charitable causes, a group we call "the high giving poor." The paper focuses primarily on families and individuals with incomes of $20,000 or less who contribute at least 5 percent of their income to charitable organizations as reported in the Survey of Consumer Finances for 1989, 1992, and 1995.
"Money and Magnanimity: New Findings on the Distribution of Income, Wealth, and Philanthropy."
Paul G. Schervish and John J. Havens. Nonprofit Management & Leadership 8, no. 4 (Summer 1998): 421-434.
In this paper we address several additional empirical questions about variation in the level of charitable giving across and within categories of income. We interpret the findings to mean that the roots of generosity reside in an array of social-psychological factors that are more profound than the fact that people are rich or poor.
Paul G. Schervish. Vol. 1 of Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion, edited by Robert Wuthnow. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1998. 600-603.
First, I define philanthropy as a social relation and distinguish it from commercial and political relations. Second, I discuss the virtue of care and the sentiment of identification as fundamental principles of philanthropy. Third, I argue that philanthropy is better understood as a dialectical unity of love, of self, and love of neighbor rather than as a dualistic opposition between selflessness and selfishness.
"Reply to Hodgkinson and Weitzman."
Paul G. Schervish and John J. Havens. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 27, no. 4 (Dec. 1998): 530-532.
We are pleased that Virginia Hodgkinson and Murray Weitzman have responded to our article, "Embarking on a Republic of Benevolence? New Survey Findings on Charitable Giving." Temperate interchange among scholars on the pages of this journal is something we hope will occur more frequently. In response to Hodgkinson and Weitzman, we review what we were trying to say and not say in our article and reply to their three major criticisms.
"Social Participation and Charitable Giving Revisited: Replication of a Multivariate Analysis."
Paul G. Schervish, Platon E. Coutsoukis, and John J. Havens.October 20, 1998.
Two years ago, we empirically examined empirically a multiple-cluster, multivariate theory of philanthropy developed by the first author (Schervish and Havens, 1996). We based this analysis on the 1992 national Survey of Giving and Volunteering (SGV) conducted by the Gallup Organization for the Independent Sector. In the present paper, we replicate our empirical analysis using two newer data sets: the 1996 national General Social Survey (GSS) conducted by the National Opinion Research Center and the 1994-95 national Harvard Survey of Health and Life Quality (HSHLQ) conducted by DataStat for the MacArthur Foundation. These additional surveys allow us to investigate whether we can obtain broad support for our initial findings, despite the differences in focus and the specific questions asked, among all the surveys.
"The State of Estates: Current Trends and New Thinking on the Meaning, Measurement, and Allocation of Financial Resources in the Light of Death and Taxes."
Paul G. Schervish, John J. Havens, Thomas B. Murphy, and Scott C. Fithian. Presented at the 1998 annual meeting of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, Seattle, Nov. 5-7, 1998.
This panel discusses a shift in the terrain of study on the relationship between financial status and charitable giving. In writing this paper, the authors are pursuing a unique collaborative approach. The authors are, respectively, a sociologist, a specialist in values-based estate planning, an economist, and a foundation trustee who is an actuary and entrepreneur.
"Why Do People Give?"
Paul G. Schervish and John J. Havens. The Not-For-Profit CEO Monthly Newsletter 5, no. 7 (May 1998): 1-3. [Based on "Social Participation and Charitable Giving: A Multivariate Analysis." Paul G. Schervish and John. J. Havens. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations 8, no. 3 (1997): 235-260.]
When we review our findings from a broad theoretical standpoint, it appears that for the population as a whole, participation, especially participation that already embodies a commitment to philanthropy, or to a philanthropic organization, is directly related to charitable giving. Moreover, within community of participation, participation in religious organizations is especially important. The major implication of the research is that the level of charitable giving, and perhaps of volunteering, depends less than previously thought on the differences in people's personal generosity.