As the HBG Book Club group read about tax-free zones called freeports last week in Jake Bernstein’s page-turner, Secrecy World, it was a perfectly-timed coincidence that this fascinating Planet Money podcast came out on that very topic. [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…]
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…]
As I mentioned here on the blog a couple of weeks ago, a growing number of us on the HBG team are reading David Callahan’s latest book, The Givers; Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age, and we meet weekly to talk about the latest chapter we’ve read.
Our discussions start with the book but we usually veer into the news of the day, pulling in observations from relevant and related articles from the New York Times, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, HistPhil, and more. [Read more…]
Earlier this week, I was looking at my phone – and at all the apps I have and don’t use – and started thinking about how every person’s app collection looks different based on their individual needs and interests. I wondered how different my screen would look if I were a billionaire. (Hey, a girl can daydream). And so my journey of discovery began.
As I researched, I realized that many of the sites I was idly finding were actually useful for prospect research purposes. Which led me to abandoning my original mild curiosity and heading toward useful employment of my time, which is a good lesson in the power of daydreaming! [Read more…]
Last week one of our favorite fundraisers got in touch after reading Kelly Labrecque’s blog article about real estate super brokers in New York City.
Hey, what about us in New England? she asked. I work for a Boston-based nonprofit, and a lot of our donors are in the construction business.This would be a great allied group for us to tap into!
Great point. There are super brokers all over the world, and equally super resources to find out more information about them. [Read more…]
In considering those with high net wealth, we often think about the owners of luxury real estate, but not the people who make their (potentially sizeable) living helping them buy it. So this week, we’re delighted to welcome back HBG Senior Researcher Kelly Labrecque to share her deep knowledge and clear enthusiasm about researching real estate “Super Brokers.” ~Helen
In the world of luxury residential real estate, there is an elite group of men and women who represent some of the most exclusive listings and clientele. These top brokers, also known as “super brokers,” close deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
You can find super brokers all over the world, but with shows like Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing” and HGTV’s “Selling New York,” we have become most familiar with those in markets like Beverly Hills, Palm Beach, and New York City.
Since I have a particular fascination with real estate in Manhattan, I thought I’d share a few interesting facts about that market and its super brokers.
(Of course) Manhattan is expensive!
The average cost of an apartment in Manhattan is now just over $2 million.
Despite declining sales and increased marketing time, Douglas Elliman, the nation’s fourth largest real estate company, reported that the Manhattan residential real estate market experienced both higher prices and increased inventory in the third quarter of 2016 (July through September). In addition, there has been a surge in new development over the last year resulting in some astronomical sales prices.
For example, in September, the New York Times featured the sale of a full-floor penthouse at 432 Park Avenue for an astounding $87.66 million! Eight additional units in the building sold that same month, ranging in price from $18.98 million to $43.3 million.
And let’s not forget the record-breaking sales that closed in 2015 at One57 consisting of a duplex penthouse purchased by an anonymous buyer for $100.4 million and the “Winter Garden” duplex purchased by billionaire Bill Ackman and his associates for $91.5 million.
So what does that mean for super brokers? [Read more…]
Sometimes secondary research just doesn’t cut it. As fundraising professionals, we all know it’s important for us to understand the context of our prospects’ lives. But as much as you can read about private equity, venture capital, and all the other finance-related professions, nothing beats actually talking with people in that industry to find out how they would like to be cultivated and stewarded. I’m particularly delighted this week to shine a light on a project that University of Chicago researchers, Amelia Aldred and Namrata Padhi, undertook to interview professionals in the finance industry. In this week’s article, Amelia and Namrata share the questions and answers about these professionals that we all want to hear. ~Helen
The problem and our solution
In 2015, our prospect research team hit a wall when it came to understanding venture capital and private equity professionals. Like many of our research colleagues, our team read hundreds of articles about venture capital and private equity industries but we couldn’t find information specifically about venture capital and private equity professionals’ attitudes and behaviors regarding philanthropy, nor could we find information about compensation and wealth beyond a general industry overview.
Our solution? Change our research methods. Instead of reading, we directly interviewed venture capital and private equity professionals about their career path, compensation and wealth accumulation, networks, and how all of these factors affected their approach to giving. [Read more…]