Thursday, August 5, 2010

Who Gives?

"It is the poor, not the rich, who are inclined to charity."

The Economist, "The rich are different from you and me," July 31, 2010.

This news got crowded out by the 39 billionaires who have pledged to give away half their wealth. Some nifty social psychological experiments demonstrated what often appears right on the street -- those who give money, chat with established pan-handlers are not necessarily the well-heeled set.

"...the increased compassion which seems to exist among the poor increases generosity and helpfulness, and promotes a level of trust and co-operation that can prove essential for survival during hard times."

What does this finding suggest about who gets attention as philanthropic leaders, remarkable civic contributors, the next generation of compassionate change agents?

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