Modern philanthropy is described in the US as the "Give Now" movement: people in their 40s and 50s who have generated vast wealth at an early age and have decided to leverage that wealth in philanthropy.
Richard C Morais, writing in Forbes magazine in an article entitled The New Activist Givers, said: "They are highly engaged in their causes, investing not just money, but also time, energy and oversight. By our conservative estimate, these activist philanthropists will be pouring between $1.9 trillion and $2.6 trillion into philanthropy over the 20 years that began a decade ago, roughly 35% of the total giving during this period. But the results-focused nature of this philanthropic capital will make it far more important than the charitable giving seen during the last century."
As the richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of $56bn, and probably the most philanthropic, Bill Gates has said of his thinking about philanthropy how one "ought to set very high goals".
Such “donors are blurring the boundaries between charity, the private sector and the state," wrote Simon Nixon in The Spectator last year. "There are now 793 dollar billionaires in the world … What's clear is that a growing number of these people want to give some of it back."
[Excerpt from the South African Cape Times]