The rich love sports and giving most, while faith and films rank way down.

Wealthiest love golf and giving most; ranks religion way down.

The wealthiest amongst us love playing golf and giving money away, while religion ranks very low among their interests. In a recent report by Wealth-X on the “Interests, passions and hobbies of the wealthy 2021,” one in five among the richest people on earth ranked sports and philanthropy as one of their top 30 choices while religion and film ranked #22 and #23 respectively.

The report identifies the pursuits of the wealthy, classifying them as very high net worth (VHNW) ($5M to $30M) and ultra high net worth (UHNW) as those having a networth of $30M plus.

The vast majority of the wealthy (60.7%) are self-made and their average age is around 60.

“Understanding their interests provides an opportunity to deepen relationships with the wealthy in an emotionally relevant and unique way,” the report adds.

Among the wealthy, North Americans were the ones mostly engaged in philanthropy and were passionate about the outdoors.

While sports ranked number one among the pursuits of ultra wealthy men, women found philanthropy more enticing. More women loved art (#3) while men ranked art low (#10).

Surprisingly, millennials formed just 4% of the high net worth individuals and their interests varied with the general very high net worth population. They ranked sports, technology and travel as their favorite hobbies. Philanthropy was important to them but it came way lower in their list of priorities.

A Fresh Look at Fundraising

generosity networkSo…how much did you ask? How did the visit go? This is a common question that fundraisers are asked after they meet prospects.

In a new book, “The generosity network: New transformational tools for successful fundraising,” authors Jennifer McCrea and Jeffrey Walker take a fresh look at fundraising. The authors show that “creating a sense of meaning and personal fulfillment is at the heart of great fundraising.”

They oppose fundraising as a transaction-based relationship where the fundraiser meets the donor solely to secure a financial gift. The book argues that “fundraising is a vehicle for transformation- personal, organizational, social, even global.”

Narrating her early experience as a fundraiser in New York, Jennifer says every ask that she made focusing solely on securing a financial gift yielded a negative response.  She soon realized that fundraising was not just about the numbers. Instead, it is a “shared commitment as two people sit down and have a deep conversation about their lives.” Giving is emotional, personal, makes people happy and is social.

The authors oppose fact-based appeals used commonly in fundraising. They argue that  fundraisers should focus on why people want “meaning in their lives” and  not dwell on data-driven case statements. “Another slide show won’t work and the most important aspect of fundraising is to create human connections.”

They are also against canned elevator pitches, a tactic  commonly used by non-profits. Instead, they encourage non-profits to focus on authentic storytelling. “Do not inundate your audiences with data, instead tell them stories.”

The book urges non-profits to stop selling ideas to people and encourages them to  give donors “opportunities to connect with causes.” It offers several nuggets, including one where the authors ask fundraisers to consider donors as their peers, irrespective of their social or financial standing. Treat them as peers and move from the “salesmanship model to enabling people to contribute to a dream.”

Authentic storytelling gets reinforced throughout the book and it has abundant tips on how to make the ask. At the heart of every ask is a “powerful story of the self, the power of us and now.” A good read.