Philanthropy Essay

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The article discusses the topic of philanthropy, how America's wealthiest people give back to the community as whole. At the time the article was published it was no surprise to me that Bill and Melinda Gates topped the list as the "top givers", also listed were Michael and Susan Dell (Dell Computers), as well as David and Cheryl Duffield (PeopleSoft). While the names on the list didn't surprise me what I learned about the nature of their donations, their impact on philanthropy, and how donations of this nature have changed in a relatively short amount of time. One line in the article really sums up how many would feel about such large donations, "The only thing harder than making a fortune is giving one away".  
The donations made by modern philanthropist go to a wide variety of organizations, most go toward the medical field as well as education, but the arts and many other social causes benefit as well. Since the technology boom in the early 90's there has been an era of super philanthropists which is apparent by the names on the list, most notably the Dells and the Gates’, who over the past five years have donated 9% and 54% of their personal wealth respectively, combining not only corporate money but money from their personal wealth too. These new age philanthropists have usher in a "new era" in this area as they demand tangible results as well as business-like efficiency from the beneficiaries of their donations. This even extends to the foundations and causes they support overseas, as many of the America's wealthy have looked beyond our own borders to improve social welfare. To support this the author presents a very concise chart of America's Top Philanthropists, who in order to make the list had to donate a minimum of $95 million over the past five years, the chart also gives the amount as a percentage of personal wealth and shows what causes each champion as the benefactor of their generosity. This is also a concrete topic that's not very debatable, many...

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