Wealthy Britons don’t match the generosity of Americans – here’s why

What’s it like to give away a billion dollars?

One of the few people who know is Stephen Schwarzman, co-founder, chairman and chief executive of Blackstone, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms.

He has given away more than that already, mainly to causes related to education, culture and the arts, but – with a fortune put at more than $16bn (£12.8bn) – is likely to go far further during his lifetime.

His latest big donation, in June this year, was a £150m gift to the University of Oxford to establish an institute dedicated to the study of ethics in artificial intelligence.

He realised very quickly that “the UK was unaccustomed to philanthropy on this scale. During the course of the day [that the donation was announced] I learned that my single gift was about half of the £310m given by all philanthropic individuals to arts and culture in England during 2017-18.”

The UK lags well behind the US, both in terms of the number of wealthy people who make sizeable donations to good causes and in terms of the scale in which they donate.

Ian King, Business presenter on Sky News examines the socio-economic reasons behind the different attitudes to charity in these two countries.

https://news.sky.com/story/sky-views-we-could-do-with-more-us-style-philanthropy-11832538

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