High-net-worth individuals donated $5.8 billion during the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic — generous giving by most standards. This is according to a recent report, “Philanthropy and COVID-19 in the first half of 2020,” from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and information service Candid. However, that $5.8 billion amount is deceptive, because nearly three-quarters of it came from one donor, Mackenzie Scott (the ex-wife of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos).
In fact, a 2020 study from the Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy found that only a relatively small percentage, 36%, of the ultra-wealthy are involved in charitable giving. This may sound like ominous news for not-for-profit organizations. But there are ways to tap this group’s ample resources.