Philanthropy Starts After Profits Are Tallied

Foundations are the new Birkin bags. Everyone who is anyone has one. Giving is now chic. Far from being in denial about it, many wealthy people fret over rising inequality these days, in public and in private.

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When they do, giving invariably comes up — whether traditional charity, multiple-bottom-line investing or corporate social responsibility.

What is less fashionable to talk about is the way that those with wealth take before they give. There is an unwritten social rule now that you can harangue the wealthy to give money away, but you mustn’t ask how the money was made. There are no galas celebrating the money people knew better than to seek. Charity begins after profit.

Source: New York Times

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