Philanthropists’ profiles and demands have changed significantly in recent years. In 2023, who are the new philanthropists ? New profiles, new ambitions and new modes of action. In this interview, Nathalie Sauvanet, our Global Head of Philanthropy Solutions shares an overview of new trends she has seen in philanthropy, and how we guide our clients at every step of their philanthropic journey.
When did the philanthropy advisory activity of BNP Paribas Wealth Management first come into being?
In 2008, we created a philanthropy advisory department to help our philanthropic clients draw up their project and translate support for causes they care about into concrete actions. We were one of the first private banks in Europe to offer this kind of philanthropic strategy advisory service. We are a small team of dedicated experts: we are based in Europe (Paris) and Asia (Singapore and Hong Kong) with a network of correspondents in Germany, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland and Switzerland. In 2022, 63% of the private clients we advised were in Europe and 37% in Asia. Since 2008, we have advised more than 1,600 clients ; as the number of requests has increased since the pandemic, we advise currently an average of 170 clients per year.
"TODAY'S PHILANTHROPISTS ARE NO LONGER “MERELY” DONORS, THEY HAVE BECOME CHANGE MAKERS"
What developments have you witnessed in the profile and demands of your clients?
Profiles and demands have changed significantly over the past five years, and even more so since the Covid crisis. Fifteen years ago, the typical philanthropist client was a man aged 70 to 85 who wanted to bequeath part of his assets to an association or foundation upon his death, and who was wondering which organization to donate to. Today, it is more likely to be a woman, a man, or a couple, aged 30 to 65, who wants to transform society by building lasting solutions and witness the impact of their actions in their lifetime. Today's philanthropists are therefore no longer “merely” donors, they have become change makers: they have an increasingly precise notion of the societal change which they want to achieve and often want to be involved in the project operationally, by donating their time and skills. We meet more and more “philanthropreneurs”, i.e. people who want to manage their philanthropy with methods inspired by the business world, or even private equity, by using methodologies for in-depth selection of organizations or funded projects - based on a due diligence process - impact measurement and reporting: an approach called venture philanthropy(Opens in a new tab). Moreover, we still get requests from older people for whom philanthropy is a response to issues surrounding the future of their real estate, natural (forests) or movable (art collection) assets. Even if now, they often become concerned about it when they reach their sixties.