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Books, Reports, and Articles - 2009

Center on Wealth and Philanthropy

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"America's Looming Philanthropic Revolution"

Paul G. Schervish. Comments shared by Paul G. Schervish at the GenSpring Family Offices 2007 Family Symposium. Published 2009. To provide some historical perspective on charitable giving, Paul offers highlights from an essay published in 1930 by John Maynard Keynes, the well-known British economist revered as one of the fathers of macroeconomics. In addition, he frams his comments in the context of the "4 M's:" Money, Meaning, Motives, and Moral Biography.
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"Beyond Self-Interest and Altruism: Care as Mutual Nourishment"
Steven Grosby correctly locates the elements of human preferences that most strain the theory of rational choice. He endeavors to incorporate those apparent aspects of altruism into rational choice theory in order to rescue it. The problem is that his syntheses are not as robust in capturing the reality of human experience as identification theory is. If one’s preference is rational choice theory, there is nothing that cannot be explained as self-interest—even altruism and disinterestedness. I believe that we need a different starting point, one that is also empirically founded and philosophically coherent. Identification theory is in my view a better account than rational choice theory for two reasons: it can explain what rational choice theory tries to explain, and it can explain additional factors that rational choice theory cannot explain. This paper is a response to Grosby's original article. To download original Grosby article, click here.

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"Charitable Giving in 2009 and the First Half of 2010"

John J. Havens and Paul G. Schervish

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 (-4.9%) from our estimate of $228.5 billion for 2008.

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"Charitable Giving Indicies: Social Indicators of Philanthropy by State"

John J. Havens and Paul G. Schervish

In November 2005, The Boston Foundation released its report,Geography and Generosity: Boston and Beyond, prepared by the current authors of this report.  One of the primary objectives of the 2005 report was to present three social indicators of charitable giving relative to financial capacity for the entire population of each state and the District of Columbia.  This report - Center on Wealth and Philanthropy Charitable Giving Indicators of Philanthropy by State - updates the 2005 report and provides as additional fourth index based on a new cost-of-living measure developed by CWP.

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"The Cultural Horizons of Charitable Giving in an Age of Affluence: The Leading Questions of the 21st Century."

Paul G. Schervish. In this essay, I set out a new approach to philanthropic decision-making that will have the potential to shape the cultural horizon of wealth and philanthropy to the same extent that the forthcoming wealth transfer is shaping the material horizon.

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"Giving in Today's Economy"
John J. Havens and Paul G. Schervish. Trusts & Estates. Published January 2009. Given the economic turmoil the United States is facing, this article seeks to articulate how the current economy will affect the philanthropic sector.
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"A Spirituality of Philanthropy."
Paul G. Shervish, (2009) Patheos.com.
"The Prayer for Peace ascribed to St. Francis of Assisi can become an exercise in receiving and giving.  It may be taken up as a practice of receiving and giving for self, and then moving outward in concentric circles as far as the praying emissary envisions..."
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"Wealth Transfer and Philanthropy: An Interview with Paul G. Schervish, PhD, and John J. Havens."
As published in Investments & Wealth Monitor. September/October 2009.
Wealthy individuals contribute to philanthropic causes for a variety of reasons. In June 2009, Investments & Wealth Monitor asked Paul G. Schervish, PhD, and John J. Havens to describe the primary motivators behind wealth transfers.
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