About the Center

The Center on Wealth and Philanthropy (CWP) was a multidisciplinary research center specializing in the study of spirituality, wealth, philanthropy, and other aspects of cultural life in an age of affluence. Founded in 1970, CWP was a recognized authority on the relation between economic wherewithal and philanthropy, the motivations for charitable involvement, and the underlying meaning and practice of care.

The leading cultural and spiritual question of the current era is how to make wise decisions in an age of affluence. The increase of personal affluence and wealth has put before increasing numbers of people the opportunity to decide something substantial: whether and how they wish to move from an emphasis on the quantity of their wants to the quality of their needs. The implication for charitable giving is that we will increasingly find affluent and wealthy individuals across all generations and business backgrounds tending either to freely give as a path to care for others and happiness for themselves, or to politely meet quotas. In an environment of liberty, giving that is extracted will be resisted; giving that is invited as a way for donors to identify with the fate of others will be honored.

Over more than twenty years CWP received generous support from the T.B. Murphy Foundation Charitable Trust, which funded CWP's ground-breaking "Study on Wealth and Philanthropy;" from the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the Lilly Endowment, Inc., and the Boston Foundation.

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BC Libraries maintains a digital archive of many CWP research papers.

View CWP Digital Archives