Back in the 80s (and then again briefly in the 90s) there was a tv show hosted by a guy named Robin Leach called “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” Leach took you into celebrity homes, yachts, and resort destinations to provide a glimpse into how The Other Half lived. It was a prospect researcher’s dream show. [Read more…]
This week we welcome to the Intelligent Edge HBG Senior Researcher and HBG Book Club organizer extraordinaire, Angie Stapleton. Angie brought up the idea for this article way back in January because she was so intrigued by cryptocurrencies and their impact on philanthropy, and she has been reading up (and generously sharing her knowledge with the team) since then. It’s fascinating stuff, and if you’re interested in learning more, don’t miss Angie’s webinar – details below. ~Helen
If you’ve been reading the Intelligent Edge blog for a while, you may have heard the HBG Book Club has been on a roll! We’ve recently read The Givers by David Callahan, Capital Without Borders by Brooke Harrington, and Secrecy World by Jake Bernstein. At their core, each of these books is about the inherent relationship between wealth and power, the structures UHNWIs use to conceal wealth, and the ability of these structures to quietly shape the world we all live in. [Read more…]
It may be the end of ski season for another year, but we’re always trying to figure out what factors impact the value of real estate in those wealthy areas. This week, Colorado-based HBG Researcher Josh Ostroski shares his insider information on three things he knows really well: skiing, real estate, and prospect research! ~Helen
I grew up in a skiing family in New England and it has been a passion of mine since I can remember. One day a colleague at HBG was researching someone that had a house in Lake Tahoe which had a market value drastically lower than what they paid for it. My colleague asked what some of the factors could be that might cause this, outside the obvious decline due to the housing crisis that hit California especially badly. The more we discussed it, the more it became obvious that there were more things at play in these specialized locations than elsewhere. I decided to look more deeply into the factors that impact housing costs in resort towns, and I thought you might be interested to know what I found. [Read more…]
This week’s article is about a new keen interest of many of us on the HBG team, and especially those of us in the HBGBookClub: offshore finance. HBG’s own Mary Taddia sped ahead of all of us and read the whole thing to share her insights and – I hope – pique your interest enough to join us in reading it! ~Helen
During my time in prospect research, I’ve had to familiarize myself with ongoing trends in the philanthropic and financial world. As a former English major, I am usually much more comfortable discussing the works of Gabriel García Márquez than I am talking about SEC forms. [Read more…]
Back in the early 2000s my team and I started a database of gifts of $1 million or more by individuals or family foundations to nonprofit organizations in Massachusetts.
A million-dollar donation was still fairly noteworthy 15 years ago, but in recent years the figure to hit for exceptional giving (and website PR announcements) has crept up to $10 or even $20 million for medium-to-large organizations. [Read more…]
This week, HBG Senior Researcher Kelly Labrecque takes us into the sunny world of the Palm Beach season, that period of time when the wealthy leave northern climates and head to the tonier parts of Florida. The charity ball scene this year will be very different from years past – what will it mean for the nonprofits who benefit from them? ~Helen
As temperatures in the Northeast drop below 40 degrees, so begins the migration of the wealthy to their seasonal homes to wait out winter. Perhaps the most famous of these destinations is Palm Beach. Part of an 18-mile barrier island in Southeastern Florida, the town is known for its pristine beaches, mega-yacht clubs, five-star restaurants, PGA-rated golf courses, and elite equestrian facilities.
For more than a century, Palm Beach has attracted and played host to the world’s rich and famous. While there, these “snowbirds” generate millions for charity and the local economy. As a result, charitable organizations have come to recognize Palm Beach as a philanthropic hub for the cultivation and stewardship of major donors. [Read more…]
When we try to estimate a potential donor’s gift capacity, the fundraising tradition has been to use statistics from the IRS that show that, on average, Americans give around 2-5 percent of their income annually to charitable organizations.
That average is derived from people who itemized charitable deductions. Even though that’s an average, for those of us in prospect research that’s been a reliable percentage to use because, by and large, only people who benefit from itemizing actually bother to do it – and that’s wealthy people. [Read more…]
Over a year ago, an anonymous “John Doe” sent an encrypted message to a newspaper in Germany called Süddeutsche Zeitung. The conversation unfolded like this:
That 2014 cache of data, the equivalent to about 38,000 average-sized books, make up what became known as the Panama Papers.
It’s a trove of documents obtained from the files of a Panamanian law firm called Mossack Fonseca, which helped create shell companies and other complex financial instruments in order to assist companies and individuals to evade paying tax in their home countries.
Journalists from nearly 100 news outlets around the world in a collaboration called the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) worked together nonstop for months under tight security and complete secrecy. [Read more…]
My colleague Kenny Tavares frequently gets tasked with creating reference resources for the team to use. He’s the Excel Guru and the Macros Whisperer, and the staff meetings when he demonstrates his latest efficiency tech-bit are always highly anticipated by all of us. This week Kenny shares some of background data he sourced for one of his latest automated worksheets. Enjoy! ~Helen
Oh Happy Day! You have been asked to assess the wealth of an individual and that person works for and sits on the boards of publicly-traded companies, has several real estate properties listed in their name, and a yacht-load of tangible assets. It couldn’t be easier and you display the calm of someone who has chosen an easy profession…and then you wake up. [Read more…]