This wealth distribution led to a very interesting trend occurring in US philanthropy right now. In the past, major philanthropic contributions have largely gone to charities and organizations located in major metropolitan centers. Generally, the same places all the wealth was located. Now, with wealthy individuals being spread across the country, more and more philanthropic giving is happening in smaller urban centers and even rural areas.
Distribution of wealth = distribution of philanthropy
While billionaires, of course, have more than their fair share of philanthropic dollars to spread around, they are of course not the only individuals capable of creating real change with their financial largesse. In a report published by Wealth-X last year, there were in excess of 73,000 individuals of “ultra-net-worth.” According to the report, “ultra-net-worth” was defined as people possessing liquid assets in excess of $30 million. While the largest concentrations of these people were still found in the more traditional affluent cities of Los Angeles and New York, there were plenty of individuals populating smaller urban centers in less populous states such as Arizona, Minnesota and Michigan.
This distribution of wealth goes a long way towards explaining how so many smaller universities and regional cultural institutions are suddenly finding themselves the beneficiaries of some major contributions and raising money in record amounts. For instance, out of the 20 universities that received the most donations in 2017, 3 of them were state universities in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.
Small players becoming national powerhouses
This sudden influx of wealth goes a long way towards explaining why the charitable Foundation For The Carolinas (FFTC) has suddenly become one of the biggest philanthropic powerhouses capable of competing on a national level. Established in 1958 on the basis of a $3,000 gift from the United Way, the tiny little local foundation that could has developed into a mighty locomotive boasting a whopping $2.5 billion in assets in 2017.
New strategies for the 21st Century
Subsidiary foundations are making a huge difference, but not just with aging donors looking to make an impact before they retire or a way to contribute after retirement. Even young companies like MapAnything are creating small subsidiary foundations and pledging percentages of their equity to them. In 2017, nearly 29,000 grants were issued by the FFTC, with more than $420 million of funding going out the door. Their assets gained them a 6th place position on the list of largest community foundations, but their grants and contributions earned them a 2nd place on that list.
Small regional affiliate foundations help distribute grants and funding
Regardless of whether you reside anywhere in or near the Carolinas, the FTTC is a foundation worth watching. The FTTC serves counties located in both North and South Carolina and is one of only a few such institutions that can boast such a successful track record leading to its phenomenal growth rate. Grants are awarded in such diverse areas as education, animal welfare, disaster relief, environmental concerns and even to religious institutions. The foundation manages dozens of competitive grant programs in addition to the charitable funds of more than 2,600 individuals, families, businesses and non-profits.