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Are young Indians turning philanthropists?
John B. Monteiro
More than a third of high networth individuals (HNIs) who turned to philanthropy in 2011 were below 30 years, reveals the annual India Philanthropy Report 2012 brought out by Bain & Company Inc, which surveyed around 400 HNIs in four cities with assets over $1.1 million.
The young givers were mainly self-made entrepreneurs, senior executives in multinational and Indian firms, or GenNext donors from business families. Youngsters seemed to be driving the charity wave in general, with 69% of the philanthropic families saying they had a youngster spearheading or shaping the family’s charity decisions. "India must consider the voice of the youth in its efforts to cultivate giving," said Arpan Sheth of Bain & Co, pointing out how the youth influence had also shaped the nature of Indian philanthropy. Younger donors, for instance, now prefer to give to NGOs and private foundations rather than local religious bodies or informal ventures.
Interestingly, India’s HNIs are in general novices to philanthropy with nearly 77% of those interviewed having less than three years of philanthropic experience. In contrast, over 74% of donors in the US have between three to five years of giving experience.
HNIs in the four cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Hyderabad bettered their own charity quotient, pledging an average 3.1% of their income in 2011- that’s higher than the 2.3% pledged in the previous year. Saying US was the world benchmark, Sheth pointed out that HNIs there had correspondingly pledged 9.1% of their income to charity.
The report stated that 52% of those interviewed in India intended to boost their charity quotient in 2012, but the lack of accountability about charitable organizations proved to be the biggest stumbling block. Like the previous year, education remained the leading cause for which HNIs doled out money, though donations for food and clothing also saw a jump with 4.6% donors identifying them as a priority in 2012 compared to 1.8% in 2011.
Referring to the accent on young in Indian philanthropy, The New Indian Express pointed out editorially:” …evidently because a large number of them earn much more than what their parents did at their age. These youngsters are clearly conscious of their social obligations.”
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